A decentralised asset registry to expand access to finance for the agricultural sector in South Africa

Master Thesis


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Over 61 percent of Africans are involved in agriculture; of this, only a few have access to financial services catered for their business. To get financial assistance, farmers have to provide sufficient collateral in the form of land, machinery and other large assets, many of which they do not own. Instead, farmers own mostly agricultural assets such as cattle, pigs and crop trees. The aim of this study is to make use of the agricultural resources available to farmers as collateral for financial loans. This was achieved through the development of a decentralised agricultural registry between farmers and the financial sector. Through an exploratory study, it was found many African countries introduced Movable Property laws to help increase acceptable collateral for financial loans. Unfortunately, many limitations were encountered which resulted in the adoption of the laws to be extremely low. As a result, this paper looks to blockchain technology as a solution as it would allow for transparency between farmers, government and financial sector. By creating a decentralised agricultural registry, farmers can register their biological assets and financiers can verify that the assets exists, are healthy and are currently not being used as collateral in another loan agreement. It is hoped that the registry can be used as a tool when financial agreements between farmers and banks are conducted.