Ewallets are catalysts for inclusive, sustainable agriculture

At the Cashless Expo 2023 held at the World Trade Center, Director for agricultural digitalization Glenn Estrada of the National Rice Program, stressed the importance of electronic wallets to farming communities as catalysts for inclusive and sustainable agriculture.

In a speech delivered for Agriculture Undersecretary for Rice Industry Development Leocadio Sebastian, Estrada said the expo is a remarkable confluence of ideas, innovations, and inspirations. 

“It has set a new benchmark in the journey towards a more digitized agricultural sector. For our farmers, this event has sown the seeds of a digital revolution, one that promises to bring about efficiency, transparency, and prosperity.”

We stand at the threshold of a new era where digital wallets are not just tools, but catalysts for a more dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable agricultural future.

As we move forward, let us carry the insights and inspirations from this expo into our fields and communities. Together, we will turn these visions into reality, creating a brighter, more prosperous future for the Philippine agriculture sector.

The expo, spearhead by GoDigital Pilipinas Movement, is a collaboration between government (led by the Departments of Agriculture and Trade and Industry and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) and the private sector, and will be ongoing until tomorrow. DA Undersecretaries Leocadio Sebastian and Merceditas Sombilla (for Planning, Policy and Regulation) along with Director Junibert de Sagun joined the kick off on Friday. 

This event has not only been a showcase of cutting-edge technologies but also a vibrant testament to the potential that digital e-wallets hold for the future of agriculture in the Philippines, Estrada said..

Estrada said through platforms like Seeds of Innovation and Cultivating Progress, “we are exploring the burgeoning relationship between agriculture and digital finance. These illuminated how e-wallets can empower farmers, enabling them to manage finances more efficiently, access markets directly, and receive payments promptly. The spotlight on these tools highlighted their role in simplifying transactions and bringing financial services to the doorsteps of our rural communities.”

We have witnessed the power of digital wallets in transforming the agricultural landscape. These platforms are not just about convenience; they are about creating opportunities for growth, sustainability, and resilience in the face of evolving market demands and climate challenges.

Other platforms like “Fertile Grounds for Change” and “From Soil to Digital Soil” delved deeper into the potential of digitalization in agriculture – how e-wallet technology is not just a tool but a gateway to a more inclusive and equitable agricultural sector, where every farmer, irrespective of scale, can have access to the digital economy.

And others like “AgriTech Evolution” and “Roots of Tomorrow” showcased real-life applications and success stories, illustrating how e-wallets are already reshaping farming practices.”We saw how these technologies are being integrated into everyday farming operations, enabling farmers to make informed decisions and access wider markets,” her added.

“Sowing Seeds of Digital Finance” and “Field of Dreams” emphasized the role of digital financial services in empowering our farmers. These showcases how embracing digital wallets can lead to enhanced financial literacy, better crop yields, and improved quality of life for farmers and their communities.

At the expo, food and non-food items produced by Filipino companies as well as digital and financial technology companies informed ‘shoppers’ on the safety features of e-commerce– sparing buyers from thieves and other criminals– while ensuring them a swift way of buying and selling with the use of digital wallets, credit cards and fintech payment systems.

Blogger Mariel Padilla, wife of Senator Robin Padilla, went booth by booth on Friday to endorse products and services in the expo– which were in turn given to her by merchants for free.(RDLC)

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