Startups & Ideas

ThriveAgric Partners with Visa to Expand into Kenya

Visa, a global leader in digital payments, has announced a strategic partnership with ThriveAgric, an innovative agri-tech startup, to facilitate the expansion of its operations into Kenya. ThriveAgric, the 2022 global winner of the Visa Everywhere Initiative, aims to leverage technology to transform the payments landscape for smallholder farmers, and this collaboration marks a significant step towards achieving that goal.

ThriveAgric Kenyan Expansion

As part of its expansion strategy, ThriveAgric will establish local hubs in five counties: Busia, Homabay, Migori, Nandi, and Narok. These hubs will serve multiple functions, primarily focusing on supporting up to 10,000 farmers. The hubs, strategically located in Busia and Homabay counties, will act as learning centres where farmers can receive training and gain access to vital agricultural inputs.

Smallholder farmers are the backbone of Kenya’s agricultural sector, contributing significantly to the economy. Despite the sector’s declining share in the GDP, agriculture remains crucial, accounting for 21.3% of the nominal Gross Domestic Product, according to data from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK). Furthermore, it employs over 40% of the total population and more than 70% of rural inhabitants. However, farmers often face challenges in accessing finance, with high interest rates being a significant barrier.

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ThriveAgric addresses these challenges by providing farmers with access to capital, premium global markets, and data-driven farming techniques. Since its inception in Nigeria, and subsequent expansion into other African territories like Ghana, ThriveAgric has empowered over 800,000 smallholder farmers and more than 5,000 young people through its innovative solutions.

Hubs as Centers of Excellence

The hubs in Busia and Homabay will serve as aggregation points for produce during harvest. Farmers will be able to deliver their produce to these hubs, where they will be paid based on the quality of their crops meeting market specifications. This system not only ensures fair compensation for the farmers but also maintains high standards for produce quality.

Moreover, these hubs will be instrumental in providing financial literacy training, ensuring farmers gain the necessary knowledge to manage their finances effectively. The program will facilitate access to financial services, including the opening of bank accounts and the issuance of Visa cards, thus enhancing financial inclusion.

The Role of Visa

Visa’s involvement in this initiative underscores its commitment to expanding the digital payments ecosystem and promoting financial inclusion. “Smallholder farmers are essential to the Kenyan economy and to our vision of expanding the digital payments ecosystem. This partnership will enable us to build a strong network to directly benefit farmers. We are also excited to partner with a start-up that has emerged from our Visa Everywhere Initiative contest, demonstrating the value it offers for start-ups that participate,” said Eva Ngigi-Sarwari, Country Manager for Kenya at Visa.

ThriveAgric Vision for the Future

Co-founder of ThriveAgric, Ayo Arikawe, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Visa. “Our partnership with Visa marks an exciting new chapter in our journey as we double down on our Kenyan expansion which started last year and establish local hubs in Busia and Homabay counties.”

ThriveAgric’s long-term vision, as outlined in their Theory of Change, aims to provide $500 million in credit to 10 million smallholder farmers by 2027 and double this number by 2050. This ambitious plan reflects their commitment to boosting agricultural productivity, enhancing food security, and driving sustainable development across Africa.


The partnership between ThriveAgric and Visa represents a significant milestone in the efforts to transform the agricultural sector in Kenya. By leveraging technology and financial services, ThriveAgric is set to empower thousands of smallholder farmers, improve their livelihoods, and contribute to the broader economic growth of the country. This collaboration highlights the transformative power of agri-tech solutions and the importance of financial inclusion in driving sustainable development and prosperity in developing economies.


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