The cryptocurrency boom has reached the farmers of Kenya
Cryptocurrencies often make headlines for disrupting the financial sector. But, now, they are also gaining ground in developing and less developed countries. An economist from America introduced the blockchain technology in Kenya for low-income customers from urban areas. Needless to say, this cashless system has been extended to the countryside.
A 26-year-old farmer named Emmanuel Kahindi harvests tomatoes and some other vegetables on a green farm on Kenya’s tropical Indian Ocean coast in Kilifi. Currently, he is selling his vegetables and buying supplies through Sarafu, Kenya’s cryptocurrency. He said that Sarafy has helped him a lot because it helps him save some money, his Kenyan currency. He uses the currency Sarafu for purchasing things for his garden like fertilizer and seeds.
Sarafu coins are like vouchers that are exchanged for services or goods with other users who have the same currency. All you need is a mobile phone line from Kenya to enroll. All users are provided with 50 Sarafu for free. They can earn coins by selling some service or product to another customer.
Sarafu is a CIC or community inclusion currency through which people can take or give credit without actually depositing Kenyan shillings in the bank. Created by Will Ruddick through his nonprofit in Kenya named Grassroots Economics, this CIC has been introduced recently to areas like Kilifi. He believes that these areas have the most serious national currency lack and Sarafu is helping fill the gap. It gives the communities a way to monetize their resources in a way that couldn’t be done with cash. However, there are some people who are still wary of this currency.