Philippines considers secondary co-op to help agri-sector with tech

The Cooperative Development Authority is looking to set the organisation up on Mindanao, the second largest of the country’s islands

The Philippines’ Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has expressed interest in setting up a Technology Service Cooperative to help agri-co-ops on Mindanao, the country’s second island.

The plan for the secondary co-op follows a recent public consultation with various co-ops and stakeholders, looking for ways to help farmers adopt digital technologies and fintech.

The co-op would comprise at least 15 registered co-operatives, who would be expected to pool their resources so as to introduce technological innovations, particularly in supporting co-operatives across the country through e-commerce, portals and innovative ways of bridging the gap in market access.

“This step is a response to the changing needs of the sector,” Vidal Villanueva III, head of the CDA’s Credit and Financial Services, Banking, Insurance, and Credit Surety Fund Cooperatives Cluster, told the meeting, reported in the Manila Standard.

”While some co-operatives – particularly the bigger ones – have already started their own digital systems, there is still room to improve their smaller counterparts’ access to online services,” he added.

“The special type of co-operative will give us the opportunity to build the digital infrastructure for our movement. One of the dreams of Philippine co-operatives is to be part of the national payment management system. To be able to do that, the special type of co-operative needs to comply with the requirements of other regulatory bodies.”