Mastercard to Expand Farm Pass Programme Across APACby Fintech News Singapore November 2, 2022
Mastercard announced today at the Singapore Fintech Festival that it would expand its Farm Pass digital platform across the Asia Pacific region. The expansion will build on the success of the Farm Pass platform in India, where it has helped smallholder farmers connect to vital services and markets.
The firm is on track to connect 30 million people globally, including 15 million in Asia Pacific, with its Community Pass services, of which Farm Pass is a part over the next five years.
The expansion of the Farm Pass platform is part of Mastercard’s commitment to supporting smallholder farmers in the Asia Pacific region.
The Farm Pass platform addresses farmers’ most pressing needs: to get digital, get paid, and get capital, giving them greater leverage in the agricultural value chain. Importantly, Farm Pass isn’t an aid program or philanthropy—rather, it enables farmers to be properly paid.
Farm Pass addresses both the hurdles hindering digitisation of rural communities and the economic hardships faced by farmers in many parts of the world.
“While technology has brought profound benefits to much of the world, digitally excluded people in remote communities, like most farmers, face unique challenges in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Too often, smallholder farmers’ profits are at the mercy of forces outside their control, making them price takers rather than price makers,”
said Ari Sarker, President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
The key benefits of Mastercard Farm Pass are financial inclusion, inclusive growth, higher income, convenience, transparency, operational efficiencies, and trust, as well as transparency which allows stronger ties between agri-sector partners and greater visibility of produce.
The Farm Pass ecosystem works both online and offline, enabled by internet agnostic technology and a network of agents who meet farmers in person and connect them to the platform on their behalf. This way, farmers do not need to own a smartphone, pay for data, or be digitally literate in order to participate in the programme.
The success of the programme in India has benefited two million farmers. Adding on to the success, Mastercard also announced a new collaboration with Bayer CropScience and Rabo Partnerships, a subsidiary of the Rabobank Group.
The firms will introduce a new programme that is unique in India, combining Bayer’s digital advisory services for smallholder farmers with Mastercard’s Farm Pass digital platform.
Rabo Partnerships will be providing accessible financial services to farmers to improve their credit score, via credit analytics and product development within partner financial institutions. The programme’s goal is to benefit smallholder farmers in India by enabling them to gain easier access to formal financial services, and plans to achieve this over the next five years.
Farm Pass is just one of the services offered under Mastercard’s Community Pass portfolio, an interoperable digital platform that connects even the most remote communities digitally to service providers such as governments, NGOs, healthcare providers, schools, and the private sector.
Featured image credit: Edited from Unsplash