THE DEVELOPMENT Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has partnered with PayMaya Philippines, Inc. to boost financial inclusion among Filipino farmers.

“Giving our farmers much-needed access to financial products to help uplift their livelihood is an important mission for DBP as part of our thrust toward financial inclusion for every Filipino. By employing digital means to deliver crucial financial services to them, we are able to help boost their productivity, increase their yields, improve their lives, and contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole,” DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said in a statement.

Under the program, payments for produce of farmers and disbursements from the bank’s partner local government units and organizations will be given to farmer beneficiaries through PayMaya ID cards. Partner organizations will also be provided with a cashless disbursement platform.

“This is financial inclusion at its finest and most relevant, serving the needs of one of the most underserved sectors of our society — our farmers. This project brings important digital financial services to the agriculture sector, serving as building blocks toward the growth of our economy,” Orlando B. Vea, founder and chief executive officer of PayMaya, said.

Businesses that cater to farmers and their families will also be able to accept modes of cashless payments like the PayMaya QR (quick response) code, while its Smart Padala will be expanded to more communities so that beneficiaries will be able to deposit or withdraw cash, most especially in areas with no automated teller machines (ATM).

The pilot Isabela Prosperity Program will initially benefit rice and tobacco farmers in the Isabel Province. Program partners are the Provincial Government of Isabela and the Nagkaisang Magsasaka ng Isabel Agricultural Cooperative (NMIAC).

Rice farmers who are members of the cooperative will be able to benefit from the loan with DBP, while their harvest will be sold at a premium price under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

The partnership with the local government units will be more on the efficient disbursement of proceeds of Isabela’s share in excise tax collections from burley and tobacco to farmers through the ID cards.

The first batch of beneficiaries received their ID cards during the launch on Oct. 12 in Roxas, Isabela.

“Farmers are the lifeblood of our nation, as they help provide food to each family’s table. By empowering them with a financial account where they can conveniently and securely receive funds through our partners DBP and PayMaya, and helping them improve their livelihood, we are ensuring the growth and stability of our nation,” Ana Cristina Siquian-Go, president of NMIAC, said. — VMPG