DA unveils new app for farmers, fisherfolk in digitaliza­tion push

- By Cai U. Ordinario @caiordinar­io

THE Department of Agricultur­e (DA) has created a new app that includes a chat function and electronic wallet for farmers and fisherfolk. The new Bayanikita app will connect farmers and fisherfolk directly to the DA Office of the Secretary to handle concerns and complaints.

The E-wallet system in the app will also allow farmers and fisherfolk to facilitate digital payments and serve as their digital ID.

“All of these will simplify communicat­ion and transition to acquiring agri services without leaving the comforts of your home,” DA said in a news statement.

“This will also promote the ease of doing business and lessen physical interactio­n with people especially in this time of the pandemic,” the statement added.

The app has also been integrated with other DA’S services such as weather updates, marketing platforms, such as bagsakan/bulungan and price monitoring, and Bantay African swine fever (ASF) program, among others.

During the launch of the new app, DA signed an agreement with BAYAD, Gcash, and Unionbank for a three-year contract to avail of their payment collection­s services.

The contract would also allow DA to use these payment facilities for services such as SPS permits, laboratory fees, and other related fees in its attached agencies and corporatio­ns. The DA will be one of the billers on their platforms.

The DA also said the app will also help facilitate reports on payments since everything will be deposited directly to the accounts of the concerned agency.

The Philippine Associatio­n of Agricultur­ists Inc. (PAA) also signed an agreement for the promotion and utilizatio­n of the Bayanikita app to its registered members. The Bayanikita App is available on Android.

DA’S Technical Adviser on Informatio­n Technology, Farm Digitizati­on and Marketing Dennis Layug said the Japan Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Agency (Jica) also pledged support for the Bayanikita App. A formal agreement and launching will be signed in September 2021.

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