Unity Bank Partners Firm on Blockchain Solution for Agric


Nume Ekeghe

Unity Bank Plc has gone into a partnership with Binkabi to provide a complete end-to-end solution for farmers and the entire agribusiness value chain.

Binkabi’s blockchain-based solution would provide value to farmers and SMEs by offering quality storages for grains and farm produces that are classified as commodities. It also creates a marketplace of connecting end-buyers and end-sellers of commodities and enables farmers and SMEs to access finance. The partnership with Unity Bank was also expected to give Unity Bank customers means to easily access loans from the bank.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, yesterday, the Executive Director, Corporate Planning and Compliance, Unity Bank, Mr. Usman Abdulqaqir, said the partnership would play a vital role in agribusiness nationwide and offers great value to farmers and SMEs.

He said: “There are problems within the agric sector and one of them is that we have limited bank lending to the sector. There is difficulty in accessing risk because there is no data and even when there is data, it is not reliable.”

He added that the platform would provide transparency, liquidity and a better risk assessment for farmers, thereby enhancing productivity and profitability.

He said: “We actually welcome the partnership with Binkabi because it is a platform for bringing all players in the sector into one pot. It will also bring liquidity into the market and naturally make things easier for the farmers. It also gives us value in doing a better risk assessment.”

He added that with the innovation, farmers can present their warehouse receipts to access funding which in turn would unlock the entire value chain.

According to him, Unity Bank has always and remained focused in supporting the agricultural sector.

He said: “By way of strategy, we look at the various value chains across the agric sector and what we are doing is to integrate all the various component into one single entity to have an integrated approach to funding the sector.

“We have a huge portfolio of primary production and today 40 per cent of our loan portfolio is in one aspect of agriculture or another. We are also the leading bank in funding primary production.”

On her part, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Binkabi, Ms. Manrui Tang said: “We are a platform for issuing trading and financing commodities on blockchain. We connect with banks, warehouses, commodity exchanges, logistics companies and farmers, aggregators and all parties in the supply chain.

“We streamline the entire commodity end to end trading and financing process for the benefit of farmers and SMEs to make this entire lending and trading process to be automated, secured and profitable for them.”