DA serious with digital push, rolls out 'Byaheng Digiskarte' program, 'BayaniKita' app

Published August 3, 2021, 6:30 PM

by Betheena Unite

A mentoring program and a mobile app intended to modernize the country’s agriculture sector were launched by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

FARMERS GO DIGITAL–A farmer-youth tandem completes the hands-on activity on smartphone familiarization under the Digital Farmers Program training conducted by Agricultural Training Institute Region 2. (Photo courtesy of the ATI-Region 2)

The “Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA” program and the “BayaniKita” app were unveiled by the department on August 2 to encourage and educate more farmers and fisherfolk on using digital platforms to further boost their earning powers.

The agriculture department joined hands with digital technology companies to create the programs, which will be key to its push for digital transformation.

“The push for the digitalization of the country’s agriculture sector has been one of the DA’s goals, especially during the new normal,” DA Secretary William Dar said, stressing the need to reduce the complexities of doing business through digital platforms.

“It is important that we help and empower our agri-fishery sector by providing them the technical, marketing, and financial support they need,” Dar added.

The Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA is a mentoring program undertaken in collaboration with Aboitiz Foundation. It is designed to assist in the recovery and growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives that were affected during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by linking them up with digital technologies and other platforms to increase profit.

“With the skill to use mobile phones, Internet, and online platforms, they will be able to effectively reach more buyers, improve business and organizational operations, and enhance member services,” the secretary said.

The BayaniKita app, on the other hand, aims to provide its stakeholders with vital communication. It is carried out in partnership with IoT Valley Corporations.

It features a chat facility directly connected to the Office of the Secretary to address stakeholders’ concerns and complaints, an e-wallet system connected to digital payments facilities or platforms, and digital ID for farmers and fishers.

The app is also integrated with other DA’s services such as weather updates, marketing platforms such as bagsakan/bulungan and price monitoring, and the Bantay African Swine Fever program, among others.

“All of these will simplify communication and transition of acquiring agri services without leaving the comforts of your home. This will also promote the ease of doing business and lessen physical interaction with people especially in this time of the pandemic,” Dar pointed out.

DA also signed an agreement with BAYAD, GCash, and Union Bank for a three-year contract to avail of their payment collections services and payment facilities for DA services such as SPS permits, laboratory fees, and other related fees in its attached agencies and corporation.

The Philippine Association of Agriculturists, Inc. (PAA) also signed an agreement for the promotion and utilization of the BayaniKita app to its registered members.