GPS team and SEARCA organize agriculture forum

SGV’s Government and Public Sector (GPS) Team and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) held a forum on unlocking the potential of financial technology and innovations in advancing agricultural development in the Philippines last 29 January. The forum featured sessions on financial systems and FinTech applications in agriculture of major financial and government institutions. SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn Gregorio welcomed participants from financial institutions, government agencies, farmer associations and cooperatives, NGOs, and the agricultural industry and academe.

CGL, Larisa and Christian presenting at the forum

SGV FSO Consulting Partner and GPS Leader Christian G. Lauron (CGL) discussed financial services challenges and opportunities in agriculture, emphasizing the importance of smallholder access to financial services. He described technological innovations in agriculture and credit risk assessments for agricultural value chains. He also spoke on how machine learning and spatial techniques and satellite imaging can be embedded for agricultural credit granting and investing.

FSO Consulting Associate Director Larisa Jane Salaysay led a discussion on green financing and provided an overview of the ASEAN green bond market. She explained the Philippine landscape for green financing and the role of FinTech in green finance. FSO Consulting Senior Director Christian Edmund Chua then discussed blockchain technology and how it can help drive the agenda of the agricultural sector, increase efficiency and support digital transformation. He also spoke on the challenges in implementing blockchain applications.

The discussions were followed by an open forum moderated by FSO Consulting Associate Director Paul John Gesta. Other speakers at the webinar included Land Bank President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo who gave an overview of the Philippine agricultural financial system, and DOST Supervising Science Research Specialist Roel de la Cruz who discussed the different space technologies for mapping and monitoring of agricultural areas. SEARCA’s Operations Consultant and UP Los Baños Associate Professor Dr. Rico Ancog delivered the closing remarks and discussed the ongoing digital divide and the importance of finding financial systems and solutions to improve access to capital, information systems and cost efficiency of supply chains.