African Potash Limited (AFPO), a company focused on creating a vertically integrated platform for the mining, production and distribution of fertiliser and FinComEco, the fully integrated Financial & Commodities Ecosystem providing services, financing, capacity building and enablement solutions from supply to demand, have signed a Master Collaboration Agreement to jointly develop a range of platforms, projects and initiatives in the agricultural commodity markets sector across Sub-Saharan Africa. This will be underpinned by the deployment of a complete blockchain-based agricultural ecosystem solution in conjunction with the public and private sector commodities focused community.
The partnership will facilitate microloans direct to Small Scale Farmers (SSF). The rate of interest will be significantly cheaper than present agricultural finance costs and more accessible. All supply chain financing and transaction logging will be accomplished via secure blockchain technology and provided through existing co-operatives, agricultural infrastructure and commodity exchanges enabling SSF to buy agricultural inputs at designated warehouses. FinComEco backed by majority shareholder GMEX Group will also ensure purchase of commodities grown by the SSF through existing warehouse receipt systems and commodity exchanges.
The partnership will deliver improved access to inputs plus associated financing and a better price for their produce. It will also provide opportunities for further income growth, opening alternative added-value opportunities such as the provision of market information, training and capacity building.
The two organisations will include other partners as appropriate, to support areas such as legal and regulatory framework enhancement, assurance of accuracy (quantity/quality) of warehouse deposits and the protection of the sanctity of the Warehouse Receipts System with guarantees, insurances and bonds at various levels of operations. Other activities will include the creation of asset backed tokenisation and the potential for Potash reserve assets in Republic of Congo to be used in addition to the tokenisation of warehouse receipts and eVouchers. Tokenisation is the process of converting rights to an asset into a digital token on a blockchain.
Dr. Chris Cleverly, Executive Chairman of AFPO commented:
We are excited to be in a joint venture with FinComEco to deploy an integrated microloan financed, token based, input and output trading ecosystem.
This is a significant step in our strategy to build a vertically integrated fertiliser business from initial resource through to selling, direct to the farm, and demonstrates the role of blockchain technology based solutions to commodity trading. He continued “By linking agriculture to the latest blockchain technology, the joint venture will facilitate significant agricultural value chain efficiencies and generate new opportunities across the region.
Hirander Misra, Founder and Deputy Chairman of FinComEco and CEO of GMEX Group stated:
We are delighted to be working with AFPO to transform the lives of smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa. Our unique collaborative approach is delivering best-of-breed technology, standards and inputs (including seeds, fertilisers and pesticides) coupled with agricultural finance facilitation to link the supply to market side demand creating a holistic agricultural value chain.” He added, “Our initiative, which involves increasing production of agricultural commodities, is designed to be aligned to African Development Bank’s Feed Africa programme.
Additionally African Potash is proposing to change its name to Block Commodities Limited to reflect its strategy direction.