Best Fintech Solution Winner: Agrocorp International

Published: Jan 2020


Photo of Nitin Jain and Vishal Vijay, Agrocorp International and Bastavee Barooah, DBS.

Vishal Vijay

Head of Business Development
Agrocorp International


Agrocorp International Pte Ltd is a global agri-commodity trading house founded in Singapore since 1990.

in partnership with

Blockchain platform connects farmers around the world with their consumers in Asia and the Middle East

The challenge

Agrocorp faced three key challenges and wanted to overcome them using blockchain technology. First, the large number of paper documents it exchanged for every trade, across processing plants, truckers, shippers, banks, insurance companies and ports created significant costs and inefficiencies.

Secondly, payments and finance transactions that were tightly coupled with the trade lifecycle created working capital constraints. And finally, Agrocorp wanted to digitise processes by using secure electronic data exchanges between all the parties in each transaction while still retaining the visibility, tracking, enforceability and commitment across multiple parties for executing autonomous contracts.

The solution

Agrocorp International Private Limited, DBS Bank and blockchain technology provider Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT.SG) collaborated to develop a first-to-market innovative blockchain-based electronic platform to digitise the entire process for commodities transactions.

The new blockchain platform helps farmers receive payments for their goods sooner, enables parties in the supply chain to look into the sources of their commodities and makes it easier for them to learn more details of their trades.

Paper contracts are replaced with blockchain-based digital agreements that are secured by digital signatures. Contract flows are then set up on the platform so that each counterparty can upload and view the trade documents. Any update or change needs to be validated by all counterparties, which allows the contract to be executed on an automated and autonomous basis while ensuring the validity of the transaction.

The electronic platform currently connects about 4,500 farmers in Australia to global end customers such as supermarkets and restaurants.

Parties along the supply chain can upload and view related documents on the platform, and their trading partners need to validate changes to contractual terms before any trade can be made.

Farmers can access commodity prices and register a sale, with the sale and purchase agreements stored digitally on the system.

All parties in the supply chain can check pricing and supply information in real-time, carry out transactions, and track the delivery of orders on-the-go.

There is a better degree of transparency to end customers with regards to where a product is coming from in order to make a purchase decision.

Best practice and innovation

The blockchain solution is integrated with the Real-time Application Programming Interface (API) by DBS (DBS RAPID) based business solution, that provides real-time connectivity between the customers’ systems and the bank. The suite of APIs for this solution includes: payments APIs, which are automatically triggered by blockchain when payment is due to the exporter; inward credit confirmation APIs, which enable the platform to recognise when the end-buyer has made payment; and account payables financing APIs, which allows the platform to send electronic details of invoices and transport documents to request financing via API, so that the bank can finance the transaction and pay the exporter.

Certain ‘trigger events’, such as confirmation that goods have been shipped, automatically trigger the APIs to prompt the bank to take action such as releasing payment to a farmer.

Key benefits

  • Buyers can view the source of commodities.
  • Increased transparency.
  • Faster payments.
  • Improved processing.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Working capital cycle reduced by around 20 days.
  • Quicker and easier access to trade finance.

“The blockchain platform that has been developed in conjunction with DBS and DLT has the potential to be a gamechanger in our space. Using it we are able to have paperless and more seamless transactions and provide our customers and bankers with an unparalleled level of traceability in the supply chain. Agrocorp’s business model is based on connecting farmers around the world with consumers in Asia and the Middle East, and we are now able to enhance that connection like never before,” says Vishal Vijay, Head of Business Development.

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