DA pilots digital procurement system for inputs

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
DA pilots digital procurement system for inputs
The dry planting season starts late December and ends in early March, with harvest starting in February until April or early May.
STAR / Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is piloting a digitalized procurement and distribution system this coming dry cropping season to reduce delays in the delivery of seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs to farmers.

The dry planting season starts late December and ends in early March, with harvest starting in February until April or early May.

In a statement the DA said the new system – a strategy adopted for the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program – would allow nearly real-time payouts to clustered farmers through cashless transactions from the previous 90 days to complete the procurement and distribution of seeds and fertilizers.

The DA will introduce the new system to 15 regional field offices (RFOs).

The new system would identify a municipality where 15 biofertilizer and 15 seed companies would sell their goods to clustered farmers using the Intervention Monitoring Cards (IMC) held by  farmers for their purchases, DA undersecretary for rice industry development Leocadio Sebastian said.

The IMC cards function just like an ATM or e-wallet, where money can be issued for every transaction.

The digitalized system aims seamless transaction between clustered farmers and the merchants by removing the traditional bulk procurement by DA field offices of the fertilizers and seeds, which they distribute to rice farmers.

Instead, the clustered farmers will choose their own fertilizers and seeds in bulk from  merchants selling their desired seeds and biofertilizer, organic or chemical fertilizers and microbial inoculants for the soil.

The merchants can then go to the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and accredited financial technology partner, Universal Storefront Services Corp. (USSC), to get the payments from clustered farmers.

Meanwhile, each farmer will hold an IMC just like an e-wallet.

The DA also said vouchers would be issued to clustered farmers to avail of input assistance from their choice of inputs and merchants at their own time and convenience.

This drastically departs from previous practice where farmers just had to accept whatever the DA-RFOs supply them, which some of them do not find useful for their farms, Sebastian said.

The DA official also said this digital process empowers farmers to choose their own stocks of inputs and seeds and the merchants that offer them the best quality of goods and best price. This way, the fertilizer scams of years past will be removed in the system.

Since the voucher system is digitalized, the agency said transaction will be made traceable and transparent.

In addition, micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) producers and distributors of seeds and farm inputs can also participate in the bulk system of procurement and distribution, which only previously qualified big suppliers and producers.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with