Of the 167 million people living in Bangladesh, 36 million are considered financial outcasts, with no access credit, saving or a way to financially secure their future. They are mostly small farmers who usually grow more than they can sell at local markets. This excess produce is often wasted or sold at a loss to middlemen.
AgroBanking by United Commercial Bank is the world’s first initiative to transform fresh fruits and vegetables—into bank accounts. UCB, one of the largest banks partnered with the largest grocery chain in Bangladesh, Shwapno, to purchase such goods at fair prices. AgroBanking allows farmers to open microsavings accounts in exchange for their produce. Through its massive farmer and distribution network, Shwapno can deliver the fresh fruits and vegetables to stores across Bangladesh.
Finally giving farmers the opportunity to join the formal economy, reduce inequality and help them grow their business. In just one month since its execution, 750 new accounts were opened, 58 tons of produce were collected, 40+ media impressions were generated and 115 villages asked to join AgroBanking.