Mastercard agritech platform expands across APAC

Mastercard has announced new collaborations with Bayer CropScience and Rabo Partnerships to expand its agriculture technology program, Farm Pass, across the Asia Pacific region after a successful launch in India.

The digital platform is set to add to the two million smallholder farmers in remote communities that are already connected, with another 13 million to have access to the solution overcoming the digital illiteracy in rural areas and economic hardships faced by residents.

Farm Pass aims to create digital identities for farmers and establish an online record of their income, harvest data and transaction history as well as build a credit profile. Program partners can also onboard farmers at scale and offer in-person assistance to connect them to the platform without the need for a smartphone, internet access or a certain level of digital literacy.

Farmers are then connected to a network of agricultural buyers, inputs dealers and other parties to trade fairly and sustainably.

“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,” Ari Sarker, President, Asia Pacific at Mastercard, said.

“Too often, smallholder farmers’ profits are at the mercy of forces outside their control, making them price takers rather than price makers.

“The beauty of Farm Pass is that it works by addressing 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 compensated for their work by cutting out inefficiencies and creating a commercially sustainable system for all involved.”

The program also serves to ease difficulties within the agricultural value chain that often result in inefficiencies, waste and fraud, promoting financial inclusion, growth, convenience, transparency and operational productivity.