Zimbabwean women farmers will be given Bitcoins which they can redeem for goods at selected suppliers.
Put together by BitMari, the first black owned Bitcoin startup, this first ever Bitcoin accelerator programme for women farmers in Africa is aimed at making the farmers successful and to return the initial investment at the end of the second harvest.
It will also teach them on the usefulness and power of Bitcoin, and train the female farmers to be able to make Bitcoin transfers.
According to BitMari’s CEO, Sinclair Skinner, it is important to make women understand how to transfer Bitcoin because: “None of the current methods of financial transactions that many of the unbanked farmers use have the power of Bitcoin.”
On what motivated BitMari to decide to devote its time and resources to the initiative, Skinner noted via email:
“We have signed our first bank client and their target industry is agriculture. We are currently awaiting the Zimbabwean regulatory approval of our bank project, and we currently became aware of the severe El Niño draught and cash crisis. The women farmers needed help and we believe the Bitcoin community and technology would be a great resource.”
The idea is to raise US $22,500 for 100 women farmers. Ten farmers in each of Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces will be given Bitcoin on their free BitMari Bitcoin Wallets.
Just like Bitcoin, which removes the need for large middleman in financial transactions, Skinner said the crowdfunding project is unique in a way as it eliminates the need for large NGO bureaucracies to facilitate aid to the final users.
Bitcoin/altcoins were chosen for the fundraising because they are the fastest and most efficient way to move funds across borders. A key highlight of the fundraising is the featuring of the infamous one billion Zimbabwe dollar notes as a reward for crowdfunders.