Rural Stars: Making Rural Agents Viable for Cocoa Farmers in Indonesia


31 January 2023 9:00 am - 10:00 am EST
This event has concluded.

In Sulawesi, Indonesia, 25,000 farmers grow cocoa, and in this value chain, Cargill incentivizes farmers to grow sustainable cocoa with premium payments. But distributing cash in rural areas is costly, complex, and frustrating for everyone: farmers have had to wait up to seven months to get paid, leading to lower engagement and loyalty. In major cities in Indonesia, Grab Kios has established a network of micro-merchants that provide e-money and digital services, including cash-in, airtime purchases, and bill pay via a smartphone app. Still, their agent network has yet to reach rural areas. Last Mile Money convened these partners to build better channels for distributing last-mile payments by inviting farmers to become digital financial agents. In 2022, a 3-month pilot onboarded 100 new agents to distribute payments to 1000 Cargill farmers and reach 800+ additional rural customers.

In this webinar, IDEO Last Mile Money designers presented key findings in the rural-agent model, business viability, and the importance of women agents. A panel of Grab Kios, Cargill, and IDEO experts also discussed the opportunities and challenges they have faced in delivering digital payments and services to rural customers. 


Download the presentation.

Related video: Empowering Farmers as Rural Agents in Indonesia


Sarah Asif

Sarah Asif, Design Program Manager, IDEO Last Mile Money 

Sarah Asif is a Design Program Manager at IDEO Last Mile Money where she manages the design, execution, and scale of pilots. Prior to IDEO, she worked in the fintech space in Pakistan, helping startups design and scale financial products and services for the next billion users. 


Yosha Gupta

Yosha Gupta, Agtech Specialist, IDEO Last Mile Money 

Yosha has spent 15 years in the Fintech sector and worked across Asia as a Financial Inclusion Consultant with CGAP and IFC World Bank Group. She is also the founder of Memeraki (, a social enterprise driving financial inclusion for marginalized artisans and arts by empowering them with technology and creating new economic opportunities for them.

Kanika Kumar

Kanika Kumar, Director of Partnerships, IDEO Last Mile Money  

Kanika has 12+ years of experience in inclusive product design, impact investment and user centred solutioning  across South and SouthEast Asia and East Africa. She currently leads a portfolio of financial technology investments at IDEO Last Mile Money initiative. Prior to IDEO, she led the strategic innovations and global business development team at Intellecap where she managed the company's expansion into East Africa, advised development finance institutions, corporations, private foundations and entrepreneurs on their inclusive business and impact investment strategies. She is an alum of Oxford University’s Said Business School and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper Community.

Fadhil Akbar Kurniawan

Fadhil Akbar Kurniawan, Sustainability Partnership Manager, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate Indonesia   

Fadhil is a sustainability practitioner with over 5 years of experience implementing sustainable sourcing programs aimed at addressing global demand and delivering sustainable coco to customers. In his role, Fadhil is responsible for maintaining key customer programs and identifying potential partnerships to enhance the effectiveness of Cargill Cocoa Promise in Indonesia. Recently, he was involved in developing the Last Mile Money pilot, a partnership with IDEO, Mercy Corps, and Grab that successfully digitized premium payment to 1,000 unbanked farmers through 100 Grabkiosk agent networks, with a success rate of up to 90%.

Yasaka Putri


Yasaka Rani Mustika Putri, Strategy and Planning Manager, GrabKios, Grab Indonesia

Yasaka is a Growth Hunter with 10+ years experience in Tech Companies (Ride Hailing, Telco, and E-commerce). Currently working as Strategy and Planning Manager in Grab Indonesia, she is sitting on the driver seat of GrabKios business growth by developing strategy to optimize all the revenue funnel from acquisition all the way to retention and upsell.



Emilio Hernandez

Emilio Hernandez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP (Moderator)

Emilio leads CGAP’s work to promote agent networks’ rural reach and quality. His work focuses on better understanding the financial needs of underserved client groups, like smallholder families, and experimenting with providers innovative strategies and products that meet those needs. Prior to CGAP, he led technical cooperation programs focused on inclusive rural and agricultural finance at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations overseeing interventions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He also oversaw business operations for a large international agricultural technology company throughout Central America.



Getting cash into and out of the digital system remains one of the main barriers to financial inclusion in emerging markets — even in markets where digital financial services are on the rise.