African small-scale farmers to benefit from ecosystem initiative
The integrated Financial and Commodities Ecosystem (FinComEco) on Monday launched an initiative aimed at driving improvements in food security, economic diversity and financial inclusion through a socially responsible commercial delivery partnership.
The goal is a sustainable and increasing improvement in the sophistication and living standards of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries brought about by a venture, which links agriculture to the latest financial technology.
It will initially focus on Africa.
The Mr Mark Simmonds, Chairman of FinComEco, explained that “it is important to recognise that each African country is unique with individual economic, political and social drivers.
“With FinComEco I believe we have a detailed strategy to support, improve and facilitate the full agricultural value chain improving lives, creating jobs and alleviating poverty”.
Mr Simmonds who is also a former UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention, said FinComEco will encourage growth by connecting the farmer with the exchange, financial infrastructure and national economy.
“This supply to demand chain also includes small-scale traders, brokers, storage, transportation, shipping, banks and buyers including multinationals.
“This will enable smallholder farmers to get a better price for their produce, and provide opportunities for further income growth, opening alternative added-value opportunities including e-commerce enabled enterprise”.
He said FinComEco has already successfully proven the initiative in Malawi at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) through the GMEX Group.
He said during the 2016 substantial benefits were delivered to smallholder farmers with an average of 31 per cent increase in income from use of warehouse receipts and better price transparency with 47,000 registered to receive the latest market prices on their mobile phones.
He said FinComEco will either establish or reinvigorate local commodity exchanges underpinned by trading technology, electronic warehouse receipts and a complete mobile banking solution.
“It will also enable trade across multiple regions and deliver holistic secure cloud-enabled financial agri-ecosystem in partnership with development organisations, governments, research bodies and the private sector,” he said.
Mr Hirander Misra, Founder and Deputy Chairman of FinComEco and CEO of GMEX Group explained that: “The aim of FinComEco is to match exchange trading capability, including derivatives, to physical growers.
“Also to add value through enabling manufacturing, support services and delivery contributing to additional local employment”.
He added, “The initiative will allow smallholder farmers to thrive, enabled by best of breed technology, standards and inputs (including seeds, fertilisers and pesticides).
This is coupled with a unique Agri-finance business model to solve credit and financing issues underpinned by improvements in logistics and warehousing.”
Mr Steve Round, Director of FinComEco, CEO at Saescada and Chair at The Big Issue Foundation and Ecology Building Society, said: “There are massive financial inclusion and food security issues across the developing world with not enough being done in a cohesive fashion to address some of them.
“I am delighted that our mobile electronic banking and payments system can add real value, in this unique integrated solution, to many millions of farmers delivering against many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”.
FinComEco, is a financial and commodities ecosystem fostering financial inclusion with social responsibility in collaboration with local stake-holders, development organisations, governments and the private sector with the aim of improving food security and economic diversity.
The new electronic commodities exchange solution is establishing and reinvigorating local spot exchanges and enabling trade across multiple regions with a focus on the agricultural sector to create a holistic secure financial system.
FinComEco has proven its concept in Malawi at the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) through GMEX Group and is establishing fully regulated market places in other African countries and South-East Asia.
GMEX Group is a set of companies that offer sustainable and innovative solutions for a new era of global financial markets.