By Madelaine B. Miraflor
FINTQnologies Corp. (FINTQ), the financial technology arm of Pangilinan-led Voyager Innovations, is set to launch the Accelerated Growth and Rural Inclusion (AGRI) platform — which is an end-to-end farm-to-marketplace digital agricultural value chain platform that directly connects producers to consumers.
AGRI includes digital financial services through the Lendr platform and cost-effective logistics infrastructure management in partnership with Metropac Movers.
The platform is being introduced nationwide in collaboration with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Agriculture (DA), various local government unit associations such as the League of Provinces of the Philippines and Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, and industry partners such as the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP).
“The agricultural sector is vital to our nation’s development as it sustains the requirements of our growing population. It likewise needs to be well-funded to make it globally competitive and resilient against climate-related risks, especially in the Philippines which is highly exposed to various weather-related hazards,” said Lito Villanueva, FINTQ Managing Director and KasamaKA Founder and Lead Convenor.
He noted that the AGRI platform will be an intervention to help reduce poverty in the countryside and boost shared prosperity at the bottom of the pyramid
As a start, FINTQ will implement AGRI in eight pilot areas with supportive local government partners, mostly in Mindanao.
“Innovations enabled by digital technology and value chain approach can not only make agri-financing more viable but also unlock new opportunities for rural banks and cooperatives to deliver a whole range of financial services catering to the unique needs of farmers and their communities,” BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said.
For his part, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the government always looks for ways to further capacitate small farmers and fishers by providing more access to affordable financing and leveraging on technology.
Aside from providing alternative credit options, AGRI will help small farmers earn higher income for their families while reducing costs to the end consumers as it will cut down the unnecessary middlemen with direct farm-to- business and consumer approach.
The platform will also include enhanced capacity-building program with sustained training, education and values formation which would include marketing and sales modules.
A partnership with a global standards certifying agency will also be part of the initiative to make Philippine produce globally competitive as well.
AGRI forms part of FINTQ’s thrust in promoting and increasing inclusive digital finance in the country.
Over the past months, FINTQ has been deploying various platforms to extend access to financial products and services to the unbanked and underserved segment.
It currently has Lendr, a digital lending platform that provides access to credit to Filipinos.