FinComEco Limited (FinComEco), the fully integrated Financial and Commodities Ecosystem fostering financial inclusion with social responsibility throughout the agricultural value chain and Block Commodities Limited (BLCC), the innovative commodity trader operating in Africa, previously known as African Potash, are pleased to announce they have entered into a strategic partnership with Wala, a blockchain-powered financial services platform, and Dala, a cryptocurrency token issuer that will support the operation and further development of scalable, blockchain-enabled financial platforms for developing markets.
The agreement complements the BLCC’s Joint Venture with FinComEco, a subsidiary of GMEX Group Limited, announced last November, whereby Block Commodities, FinComEco, Wala and Dala, will be working together to develop and operate a web-enabled platform using the blockchain ledger for its agricultural commodity trading initiative in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, this collaboration agreement establishes a relationship whereby Wala will support the use of the Dala utility token as the functional token for the food commodities cycle trading ecosystem which is currently being established by BLCC and its partner, FinComEco.
Under the agreement terms, the BLCC and FinComEco Joint Venture will provide the equivalent of $10M (US) in Dala token loans to approximately 50,000 smallholder farmers to purchase fertilizer across Sub-Saharan Africa, starting in Uganda and then extending to Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Republic of Congo (ROC). Wala will support BLCC and FinComEco with software solutions and integration into Wala’s financial platform and the Dala ecosystem.
The collaboration aims to integrate the BLCC trading business and the FinComEco agricultural commodities ecosystem through the deployment of blockchain to maximise the value of African agricultural commodities to smallholder farmers.
Chairman of GMEX Group and CEO of FinComEco, Hirander Misra commented, “This partnership will drive financial inclusion across Sub-Saharan African countries by providing smallholder farmers with cheaper access to finance and inputs (pesticides, fertilisers and seeds), which will result in an increase in agricultural output. He added, “This combined with electronic warehouse receipts financing and easier access to markets through the FinComEco commodity exchanges will ensure better price transparency enabled by Blockchain technology therefore increasing individual incomes and national GDP.”
Block Commodities Executive Chairman, Chris Cleverly, said “This collaboration represents a potentially significant reset for finance and commodities market development in Africa, a problem that is being addressed by bold and innovative technologies and partnerships.” He added, “We are helping to empower African farmers through loans to purchase fertilizer and have better access to markets”.
Wala Founder and CEO and Dala Director, Tricia Martinez, said “This is an industry changing partnership that will drive much needed economic growth and financial inclusion in African markets. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency have the potential to start financial innovation in these markets and Dala is at the forefront.” Adding, “We are very pleased to work with Block Commodities and FinComEco to provide the necessary tools and resources for these farmers and markets.”
The Block Commodities and Wala/Dala joint venture will be initially piloted in Uganda before being rolled out across Sub-Saharan Africa. The local Ugandan community has been instrumental in testing Wala prototypes and demonstrating that digital technology can be used to effectively remove key barriers to the adoption of financial services by the underbanked and underserved: access, cost and embedded economic incentives.