DA partners with private firms for digitalization efforts

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has partnered with several private sector firms to launch two projects aimed at accelerating the modernization of agriculture through digital platforms for farmers and fisherfolks.

In a statement, the DA said it launched the Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA and the BayaniKita app programs, which are in line with its key strategies to reduce the complexities of doing business, accelerating further the transformation of Philippine agriculture.

Byaheng Digiskarte ni ANI at KITA is a mentoring program undertaken in collaboration with the Aboitiz Foundation designed to assist in the recovery and growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives that were affected during the pandemic by helping them with the use of digital technologies and other platforms in their business to increase profit.

“With the skill to use mobile phones, internet, and online platforms, they will be able to effectively reach more buyers, improve business and organizational operations, and enhance member services,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

The BayaniKita app, on the other hand, aims to provide its stakeholders with vital communication. It is undertaken through a partnership with IoT Valley Corporations.

The app features a chat facility directly connected to the Office of the Secretary to address stakeholders’ concerns and complaints, an e-wallet system connected to other digital payments facilities or platforms, and digital ID for farmers and fishers.

It is also integrated with other DA’s services such as weather updates, marketing platforms such as bagsakan/bulungan and price monitoring, and Bantay ASF program, among others.

“All of these will simplify communication and transition of acquiring agri services without leaving the comforts of your home. This will also promote the ease of doing business and lessen physical interaction with people especially in this time of the pandemic,” Dar said.

During the launch, the DA also signed agreements with Bayad, GCash, and Union Bank for a three-year contract to avail their payment collection services and payment facilities for DA services such as sanitary and phytosanitary permits, laboratory fees, and other related fees in its attached agencies and corporation.

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