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AB InBev, BanQu develop blockchain solution to help African farmers

Fri, 02 Aug 2019, 05:05 am UTC

Multinational brewing firm Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev has collaborated with blockchain firm BanQu Inc. to help African smallholder farmers in their supply chain.

As per a report by IT Web, BanQu has developed a blockchain-based economic identity technology solution, which allows farmers in the AB InBev value chain to track the sales of their barley, sorghum, and cassava crops. They can also receive payments via a mobile money solution.

What BanQu has done, as the world’s first company to offer this solution, is to take this [blockchain] technology and expand it beyond cryptocurrency. After all, what is being moved is information, because even money can be distilled down to data now,” Sameer Jooma, AB InBev’s Africa Director of Innovation and Analytics, said.

AB InBev said there were 1,200 farmers who signed up for the platform, giving them full access to accounting data including sales price, volume sold, and payment. They also hold records that they can bring to the bank, allowing them access to credit and create a verifiable economic identity.

The mobile money solution, on the other hand, enables the farmers to securely store money, pay bills, and send remittances online for free. This allows them to walk around with no cash-on-hand that can be stolen.

Noting that there are nearly 2.7 billion people with no access to credit or banks, BanQu Co-founder and CEO Ashish Gadnis said his company “seeks to solve this dilemma by providing auditable financial records, which are bankable, allowing more people to participate in the global economy.

Under the partnership, AB InBev Africa can also monitor the supply chain, giving it an overview of how much and when a farmer is paid as well as track produce from the farm to brewery using geolocation tags.

Last month, AB InBev has also invested an undisclosed amount in BanQu via ZX Ventures, the company’s global growth and innovation group. The collaboration aims to eliminate poverty by connecting people to the global supply chains that they participate in.

Together, we are working to improve access to modern banking for thousands of farmers in underserved rural markets, driving inclusive growth and contributing to our own 2025 Sustainability Goal as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” Tony Milikin, AB InBev Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer, said.

The funding will help establish BanQu’s presence in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Currently, the platform is now live across 12 countries, including Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia.

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