SABEX unlocks export market for Nigerian farmers



SABEX, the world’s first end-to-end blockchain commodities trading and financing platform, was formally unveiled to policy makers, agriculture value chain players, investors, international financiers and development agencies at the 2019 edition of Agriculture Summit Africa, organised by Sterling Bank Plc, at the weekend in Abuja.


Powered by Sterling Bank, Binkabi and AFEX Commodities Exchange, the digital commodities trading platform, provides real time credit finance for farmers, secure storage and a ready market for both farmers and buyers to transact thereby reducing post-harvest wastage of farm produce across the country. It is the future of agriculture.


Unveiling SABEX, Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank, said the bank’s partnership with AFEX and Binkabi had created a viable and efficient agricultural blockchain commodities marketplace, which will tackle challenges that include post-harvest loss, inadequate finance and poor market linkage, among others challenges facing farmers.


SABEX will further de-risk the agriculture sector making farmers more qualified for commercial lending.


According to Abubakar, SABEX is an enabler that guarantees the average farmer improved access to finance for agricultural activities, movement of harvested crops to a storage facility without much loss, and the ability to sell and earn immediate value.


The platform will decentralise commodities trading, and reduce inter-mediation in trade, while distributing profit more widely across the value chain.


Quan Le, CEO, Binkabi, noted that the vision was to ensure that the commodities trading network becomes fairer and more profitable through collaborative efforts which leverage blockchain technology.


“We understand that if financial markets can fail ordinary people in the developed world then the agricultural markets are failing ordinary farmers in the developing world. The only difference is that these farmers don’t have a voice – it is a silent crisis. This has motivated us to work with like-minds to develop a marketplace of end-buyers and end-sellers of commodities to help reduce inter-mediation in trade, distributing profit more widely in the value chain.


“Binkabi offers an end-to-end solution for the entire trading process from sourcing to settlement and creating new opportunities. We are transforming agro-commodity supply chain in emerging markets for the benefit of farmers, SMEs and other actors. Binkabi streamlines commodity trading process and allows banks to lend against warehouse receipts and contracts.”


Akinyinka Akintunde, Head of Business Development, AFEX, said SABEX was needed to change the lives of farmers by creating smart agriculture.


It will expose Nigerian farmers to the international market and will also deepen their access to finance. He disclosed that access to finance and the export market are essential to move agriculture in the country from where it is to where we all need it to be.


“It is a long journey, but we have to start and we are getting there. We look forward to more engagement and partnerships with Sterling Bank and Binkabi.


And we hope to bring more farmers on board, and also get investors to bring the required investment into the agriculture space in Nigeria,” he noted.


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