Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (Digi) has partnered with the UN Global Compact Network Malaysia (UN-GCMY) to roll out the Bluenumber programme – a free and self-generated registry to profile small farmers in the complex system of food and agriculture production, by giving them a unique digital identity and recognising their role in solving food security.
According to the Telco, with a digital identity, farmers are connected to peers and others in agriculture supply chains globally, providing both economic opportunities and food security. Currently, nearly 1,000 farmers in Malaysia obtained their digital identity during the pilot phase which commenced in late 2016.
To enable easy registration for interested farmers, Digi has developed a user friendly mobile application called Digi Bluenumber app. Participating farmers need only to key in information such as their name, gender, location, a contact number or email, and what they do or produce to get the digital identity unique to them. They also have the choice to upload any other additional information and select who has access to it.
According to the media statement, Bluenumber addresses three key issues
Enabling supply chain traceability: With a Bluenumber, businesses can identify the source of who and where their products are produced. For example, a farmer with a Bluenumber is immediately identified and recognised as a key contributor in a supply chain for better economic, social and environmental outcomes.
Digitising fair trade: Direct channels: Bluenumber opens direct channels for individuals at the beginning of a complex supply chain to be paid directly via digital payment. This promotes fair price and pay, opportunities for better practice through training, and awareness which can benefit individuals and communities.
Evidence impact: Using big data generated through the Bluenumber, companies can better understand their performance and impacts in their supply chain. By layering other types of maps with bluenumber data from their farmers, companies can document and evidence how they are meeting their public commitments, by avoiding environmental degradation, and not causing social harm.
Albern Murty, Digi’s Chief Executive Officer said Digi strongly believes that a connected society is an empowered society. “This initiative is part of Digi’s commitment to build strong digital communities, enabling more Malaysians to be part of the country’s digital economy. Providing farmers with digital identity is the first step in creating a sustainable agriculture industry, by providing them with a platform to access relevant information and knowledge as well as connection for better collaboration and opportunities.”
Puvan Selvanathan, President of UN-GCMY said, “When we see food in supermarkets, it is often difficult to know who produced it and under what conditions. Many consumers are unaware of the critical role that small farmers play in the food system, and the social and financial challenges rural farming communities face. Now, as more transparency and accountability is required for safety, environmental and other standards, responsible food businesses are keen to evidence how they respect the small farmers in their supply chains. Bluenumbers and this important partnership with Digi help to make this happen.”