SEARCA and SGV to hold forum on FinTech applications for agri development

A forum jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. (SGV) will offer perspectives on financial systems in the Philippines and financial technology (FinTech) applications in agriculture from major financial and national government institutions.

The “Forum on Unlocking the Potential of Financial Technology and Innovations in Advancing Agricultural Development in the Philippines,” to be held online on 29 January 2021, will gather representatives from financial institutions, government agencies, agricultural industry players, farmers’ associations and cooperatives, nongovernmental organizations, academe, and think tanks.

“FinTech aligns with SEARCA’s core program on Emerging Innovation for Growth (EIG)—the Center’s gateway to the future of farming technology or Agriculture 4.0 that focuses on smart disruptive solutions to challenges in agriculture and rural development,” SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio explained.

He added that “If done well, FinTech could be key to increasing agricultural productivity because of its huge potential for financial inclusion by making financial services and products accessible even to the marginalized farmers and farming families.”

Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo leads the lineup of speakers who will discuss trends and opportunities afforded by FinTech in the development of the country’s agriculture sector. Joining her are Program Development Division Chief Noel M. Ducusin of the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) and Mr. Christian G. Lauron, Head of SGV Financial Services Consulting/Government & Public Sector. They will expound on the potential and impact of emerging financial technologies and innovations in the growth of agricultural financing systems.

Specifically, Mr. Lauron will give an overview on FinTech and the challenges and opportunities for the agriculture sector. SGV is the largest professional services firm in the Philippines that provides assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services.

Meanwhile, three speakers will talk about FinTech applications in agricultural supply chains such as technology that enables traceability of information along the supply chain to foster greater quality control and food safety.

Mr. Christian Edmund L. Chua, Director of SGV Financial Services Consulting, will discuss blockchain, warehouse receipt systems, and a case study. On the other hand, Ms. Larisa Jane L. Salaysay, Associate Director of SGV Financial Services Consulting, will explain green financing or the use of public money, private loans, and micro-lending to support sustainability. 

Through the forum, the organizers intend to explore the interface between FinTech and agricultural productivity to identify tools and frameworks in maximizing the value from FinTech applications. Towards this end, Mr. Roel de la Cruz, Supervising Science Research Specialist at the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), will elaborate on the technology side of FinTech, particularly about advanced science and technologies for agricultural mapping and monitoring.  (SEARCA)