microLEAP, BPMB, MDEC provide US$2.4 million in Islamic financing

  • Microfinancing will allow farmers to accelerate adoption of smart fertigation system
  • The technology will improve farmers’ income by 33%

From L-R: Arshad Ismail, president/group CEO, BPMB, Tunku Danny Nasaifuddin Mudzaffar, Founder & CEO of microLEAP, Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, MDECShariah-compliant peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform microLEAP has announced its collaboration with Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd (BPMB) to finance Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation’s (MDEC’s) Digital Agtech Programme,

In a statement, it said US$2.4 million (RM10 million) in Shariah-compliant microfinancing has been allocated for Malaysia’s agriculture community.

The funding platform said for Malaysia’s farming industry to stay relevant and keep pace with the huge advancement in farming technologies, it is extremely important for this industry to adopt future-forward solutions. 

The objective of this microfinancing is to accelerate the use of smart farming systems to allow farmers to accelerate the adoption of technology known as ‘smart fertigation system’ in their farming operations, microLEAP said.

It claimed that the technology helps to optimise the use of fertilizers, improve chili yield by 22% and improve farmers’ income by 33%.

The financing project starts with the Kuala Langat Area Farmers Organisation (Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan Kuala Langat), part of Malaysia’s chili farming community, with other farming organisations to follow, it added.

“This collaboration marks another significant milestone for microLEAP.

“Working together with financial institutions and government agencies to provide much needed support to local agri-tech players is the way forward to ensure Malaysia continues its high-potential digitalisation path,” said Danny Nasaifuddin Mudzaffar, founder and CEO of microLEAP.

“We are proud that established entities such as BPMB and MDEC have chosen microLEAP to work with on this project,” he added. 

The collaboration was struck at MDEC’s AI and Data Week (AIDW) 2021 event, where a virtual MOU was signed between BPMB and MDEC.

With all three parties realising the opportunity to provide more for the nation’s agri-tech scene, microLEAP said it was identified as the ideal medium through which the financing will be disbursed and handled accordingly.

“As one of Malaysia’s oldest development financial institutions, we are committed to facilitating greater automation and digitalisation across all sectors and businesses in the country.

“Therefore, we are happy to have formed this strategic collaboration with microLEAP through MDEC’s Agtech programme,” said Arshad Ismail, president and group CEO, BPMB.

“The collaboration will feature funding support from BPMB to drive digitalisation initiatives in the country and will be deployed through a P2P platform operated by microLEAP.

“Leveraging on our collective strengths and expertise, I am confident that we will be able to accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s digital economy,” Arshad added.

With this financing, all parties are hoping to help the farming community thrive with technology solutions, which could be applied to other industries severely affected by the effects of the pandemic, microLEAP said.

As Malaysia looks to be the regional hub for the digital economy, it is important for both public and private sectors to work together in ensuring the advancement of local businesses, it said.

“AgTech is a vital pillar within the digital economy not just in strengthening Malaysia’s food security via increased productivity and efficiency, but also to spark and nurture a new generation of innovation-fuelled farmers.

“This collaboration is a significant step forward in driving the growth of MDEC’s eLadang AgTech programme towards the vision of a progressive, inclusive and sustainable keluarga Malaysia,” said Mahadhir Aziz, CEO, MDEC. 


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