Agriculture in Myanmar: Digital Financial Pathways to Growth – Part 2

Alejandro González-Caro
Senior Systems and Research Analyst, UNCDF
Sajib Azad
Digital Governance Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji

In our previous blog, we identified some of the challenges of the agriculture sector in Myanmar (read part 1). We now turn to potential solutions that UNCDF is examining in cooperation with partners. This blog highlights the ongoing work and its potential to drive change in the country’s agricultural finance sector through the digitization of agricultural value chains.


Building on the insights from our previous piece, Agricultural Value Chain Finance (AVCF) would provide an effective tool for addressing the sector’s challenges. By fostering partnerships between financial institutions and agriculture’s key stakeholders—suppliers, producers, and buyers—AVCF customizes financial solutions to fit the sector’s specific needs. This strategy not only surmounts traditional issues in product design and risk management but also aims to unlock financial access for high-potential yet underserved areas, driving sustainable agricultural progress. This initiative focuses on strengthening the sector’s efficiency and sustainability, marking a significant step towards a more inclusive financial ecosystem in Myanmar. The examples of projects and partnerships with the private sector below are illustrative of this strategy.

Supporting the Digital Transformation of Microfinance Institutions

Since 2012 UNCDF has contributed to advancing the digital transformation of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and enhancing the interoperability of the financial sector. These efforts, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Livelihoods and Food Security Fund (LIFT), aim to build a more inclusive and resilient economy by enabling digital transactions in hard-to-reach areas and improving financial and digital skills for customers at the bottom of the pyramid.

A key initiative is WynePay, an interoperable platform specifically designed to serve as a closed-loop payment system catering to the needs of MFIs and their clients. The first platform of its kind in Myanmar, WynePay offers affordable digital payment options. Currently, the solution enables MFIs to connect with mobile wallets and banks cost-efficiently. While WynePay is advancing towards full functionality, it is laying the groundwork for the development of a full array of payment use cases in Myanmar.

In parallel, UNCDF is implementing the Digital Ecosystem and Agriculture Market (DEAM) initiative, funded by LIFT. DEAM enhances a digital value chain platform for the agricultural sector and widens access to financial services and market access on the platform. Moreover, DEAM supports MFIs in providing digital financial services to clients in rural areas in Myanmar.

The DEAM initiative has already achieved significant results. Nearly 2,000 field staff of the partners have been trained, and these staff, in turn, have provided education on digital and financial literacy, along with nutrition information (such as understanding food groups and maintaining a quality diet) and agricultural knowledge (like the use of organic fertilizers) to over 122,000 individuals (62% women) in rural areas. As a result, more than 372,000 (87% of women) clients living in rural areas have gained access to new or enhanced digital services, such as access to mobile money platforms like Wave Money, facilitating quicker and more convenient transactions.

Looking Ahead: The Present and Future of Digital Agriculture in Myanmar

UNCDF uses digital innovation and financial literacy programs to revitalize the agricultural sector. By introducing interoperable platforms like WynePay and value chain finance solutions, UNCDF is making financial transactions more accessible, particularly in rural areas. These efforts are not just about technology; they’re about empowering individuals and communities, fostering economic resilience, and using digital means as risk mitigation measures in responding to crises. The progress made so far is promising, but there’s still more work to be done. As we continue to advance, we look forward to seeing the ongoing positive impact of these initiatives on the country’s agricultural finance sector.

For part 1 follow this link to Agriculture in Myanmar: Current State and Challenges

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