Landbank, agri firm to launch e-voucher platform for farmers
MANILA, Philippines — State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines has partnered with an agricultural firm AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) to launch an electronic voucher platform to serve farmers in rural communities across the country.
In a statement on Thursday, ANI explained that the platform will provide micro-financing for farmers in targeted clusters and cooperatives in rural farming communities in the form of an e-voucher.
“This will enable the unbanked masses the opportunity to be issued online bank accounts and access to the banking grid despite being located in areas with no access to wired internet,” the memorandum of understanding between ANI and Landbank read.
Under the agreement, ANI and affiliates shall select and endorse farmers and cooperatives for financing by Landbank.
It will also enter into marketing agreements with accredited farmers and provide them with technical assistance as well.
Landbank, meanwhile, will provide financing to the farmers endorsed by ANI and evaluate the feasibility of integrating ANI’s online system with ANI’s e-voucher system.
The agreement aims to give farmers and other beneficiaries a more efficient and convenient financing platform.
ANI has tapped Landbank because the government financial institution is mandated to provide accessible and technology solutions to provide timely and responsive financial services to farmers and MSMEs among others.
ANI explained that it plans to digitally transform the agriculture sector and serve the unserved and underserved sectors of society through digital infrastructure which would then have synergies with his other businesses and help spur rural development.
ANI chairman Tony Tiu said this would help farmers, producers, distributors, and end-users to access much needed micro finance for inputs and make cashless payments within its ecosystem secured by a purchase contract.
Farmers can use the e-vouchers to buy from accredited merchants everything they need to produce contracted crops.
ANI said this would enable them to easily tap the credit using their smartphones upon accreditation.
Tiu said this is better than lending out cash which may otherwise be used for non-farming related activities.
ANI and Landbank are preparing to launch the Agri ecosystem with initial implementation in Luzon and Mindanao focused on major crops such as rice and banana.
If the program succeeds, ANI would cover the rest of the country and add more crops to the coverage of the program.
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