InfoCorp offers region’s farmers ways to monetize livestock through blockchain

Photo by Leonardo Jarro

Singapore-based fintech solutions provider, InfoCorp, has launched the Sentinel Chain Consortium Programme to onboard strategic fintech and agritech partners onto Sentinel Chain – the world’s first international platform to accept the use of livestock as collateral via a consortium blockchain.

Southeast Asia’s poultry production is expected to reach 12.3 million metric tons (mmt) by 2028 from 9.2 mmt in 2018, up to 80% of which is provided by smallholder farmers. As such, it is crucial for these farmers to verify their livestock as capital, ensuring that their assets can be monetized.

The Sentinel Chain consortium allow agritech partners to bring their farm customers onto the network and tokenise their livestock as digital asset. Through its crowdfunding partners, Sentinel Chain will facilitate investors from around the world to finance these smallholder farmers.

InfoCorp will provide the necessary technical onboarding support and blockchain training through this programme to help partners fast track the adoption of Sentinel Chain to accelerate growth for their business.

One of the limitations faced by smallholder farmers in collateralising their livestock includes the lack of a systematic approach to verifying their ownership of livestock. There is also no verified system to help convert the value of livestock into dollars and cents. This leaves smallholder farmers helpless in the face of uncertain times such as the COVID-19 pandemic when they require bank loans but are unable to provide legally recognized collateral in return.

Sentinel Chain addresses this issue by creating a digital system to quantify, identify and verify livestock ownership at the local market level, enabling un-banked farmers to finally unlock the value of their livestock assets. This, in turn, paves the way for them to receive livestock insurance and collateralisable loans.

Coupled with a pool of offshore investors, access to credit becomes cheaper and faster, providing these farmers with a comprehensive suite of financial services that empower them to partake in the global economy.

This also opens up opportunities for Singaporeans who want a piece of the agricultural industry in Southeast Asia but are unable to due to the country’s innate problem of scarcity of land. While vertical farming has seen a boom in recent years, raising livestock, in particular, requires a large amount of real estate.

Through Sentinel Chain’s consortium partners, Singaporeans are now able to invest in smallholder farmers across the region in a transparent and secure manner, assured of its legitimacy through the digitalization of livestock assets.

“Sentinel Chain was invented to address financial inclusion for smallholder farmers by creating a global marketplace for real-world livestock asset on the blockchain,” commented Founder and CEO of InfoCorp, Roy Lai.

“With this programme, Sentinel Chain will be bridging the gap between fintech and agritech to empower farmers with the tools to scale their business in a safe and secure manner while providing investors from around the world a platform to invest in Southeast Asian livestock.”

Marking the programme’s launch, InfoCorp has also partnered with iFarmer, a Bangladesh-based online platform that connects small-scale farmers with retail investors. Through this collaboration, both companies will turn livestock into collateral by creating a blockchain-based platform through Sentinel Chain and its utilization of RFID tagging designed to be both tamper and theft-proof.

The iFarmer app will then be used by farmers and farm facilitators to collect farmers profiles and update farm information, resulting in access to financial services for Bangladeshi livestock farmers.

Moving forward, InfoCorp looks to provide an all-encompassing platform for both smallholder farmers and offshore investors to connect. Through Sentinel Chain, the local fintech company aims to eradicate poverty among smallholder farmers by empowering them with the right financial tools and the ability to have their livestock legally recognized as capital.