The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) partnered with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to boost seed distribution to farmers via digital technology through “Binhi E-Padala”.
The pilot implementation will benefit 5,000 farmers based in the traditional rice-producing provinces of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, announced DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa.
“It’s a new and exciting use of financial technology to improve practices in the agriculture sector,” he noted.
“Binhi E-Padala” is a joint initiative with PhilRice along with PayMaya Philippines Inc. and the Nueva Ecija Seed Growers Multipurpose Cooperative (NESGMC).
Farmer-beneficiaries will receive an SMS-based notification from PayMaya containing codes that they will use in claiming rice seeds from NESGMC.
All codes used to claim the seeds can be easily monitored and reported to facilitate payment to NESGMC through DBP as the authorized government depository bank for the project.
“Through this new approach, we can expect a more efficient and effective implementation of seed distribution activities, a boon to scaling up production for a valued staple such as rice,” Herbosa pointed out.
The new system is expected to be pilot-tested in select cities and municipalities, which include Aliaga, Bongabon, Cabanatuan City, Cuyapo, General Natividad, Guimba, Licab, Llanera, Lupao, Nampicuan, Quezon, Rizal, San Jose City, Science City of Muñoz, Sto. Domingo, Talavera, Talugtug in Nueva Ecija. The system will also be implemented in Gerona, Paniqui, Pura, Ramos, Tarlac City, and Victoria in Tarlac.
DBP is the seventh largest bank in the country in terms of assets and has a branch network of 129 offices and 11 branch-lite units, which are located mostly in underserved areas of the country.
During the past year, DBP has worked closely with the Department of Agriculture in disbursing cash aid to farmers and liberalizing access to credit of aspiring entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector.