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The imminent need to safeguard the planet from rising temperatures has compelled economies and businesses to adopt sustainable practices across the board. With food waste contributing to about 8-10%of the greenhouse gas emissions (acc. to the UN Environment Programme), it is critical to accelerate efforts to curtail the emissions from surplus food across the supply chain – from procurement to disposal.

At DBS, working towards Zero Food waste is an important sustainability goal and the Bank has been driving efforts to create public awareness, shift mindsets to reduce food waste and collaborate with ecosystem partners to scale impact. In line with this agenda, DBS Bank India has partnered with Stellapps, a leading dairy-tech startup. Stellapps is a one-stop dairy supply chain digitization service provider, which drives dairy productivity across the supply chain by providing insights around cattle monitoring, milk procurement, and cold chain management.

It leverages advanced analytics and artificial intelligence through its full-stack IoT platform that enables digitization of granular primary data from the farm to the dairy during the milk procurement process. This enables its numerous dairy ecosystem partnerships to drive significant value for each smallholder farmer and dairies in the villages where they operate. SteIIapps, through its IoT-based solutions and digital data, offers cloud-based grading of milk which brings in transparency for the farmers regarding the quantity and quality of the milk poured and the income earned from it.

The company’s smartMoo solutions have been able to eliminate milk rejection at the plant level by enabling transparency and ensuring protocol adherence in the cold chain. Farm-level traceability also ensures that antibiotic-laden milk does not get into the supply chain. mooPay, its financial solutions division is also leveraging this digital IoT stack to enable payments, credit and insurance for small holder farmers and drive financial inclusion in the rural economy.

The Indian dairy industry is the largest in the world, with 300 billion bovines and 76 million diary households. While the industry is about $225 billion, 66% of the Indian dairy sector is comprised of smallholder farmers with an average of 1 to 2 cattle. The vast majority of India’s small and marginal farmers do not have access to institutional credit due to a lack of documented financial transactions and awareness of financial services options available to them. The Stellapps-DBS partnership will indirectly benefit 20,000 farmers at present and can help around 100,000 dairy farmers, as the collaboration grows. This aligns with DBS’ commitment to supporting lives and livelihoods through better business and responsible financing.

Keeping in line with the Government of India’s Digital India vision, this initiative will help digitally organize the highly fragmented dairy sector, where initial investment costs can prove to be a challenge when dairies are just embarking on their digital transformation journey. The Stellapps’ digital network and DBS Bank  will provide dairy farmers with the necessary access to funds required for digitalization.

Divyesh Dalal, Head- Global Transaction Services, DBS Bank India , said, “At DBS, our focus is to develop tech-enabled solutions that directly impact the lives of the end consumer. Our partnership with Stellaps has enabled us to work on an enabling solution which will not only benefit the dairies but also the farmers. It will result in an increase in overall yield, profitability and drive scalability. We believe this solution will support entrepreneurs and benefit the larger economy.”

Digitalization and data-led-technology solutions will become the key enabler to drive intersectoral partnerships which will result in wider adoption of tech solutions across segments. These solutions are aimed at driving growth, improving productivity, transparency, and achieve scalability across the supply chain.

Commenting on the partnership, Rahul Mallick, CEO – Fintech & VAS, Stellapps, said, “At Stellapps, we aspire to simplify the lives of dairy farmers by leveraging technology and digitalization to help them improve their incomes and get access to tailor made ‘sachet’ sized financial products and services. The banking partnership with DBS Bank will go a long way in solving this hurdle and will help onboard more dairy companies on to our platform. DBS was chosen due to its digitalization prowess and physical reach across India. We are confident that this partnership will start to show results in the immediate term and will be a significant step in our business journey as well.”

As part of its larger responsible banking focus, DBS Bank works to innovate relevant solutions to encourage corporates and SMEs to transition to more sustainable practices, including moving Towards Zero Food Waste. The Bank actively works with value-driven ecosystem partners, who will help change mindsets and induce positive impact in food and farm systems. They achieve this by supporting sustainable supply chains and designing financing structures that help curbing wastage across suppliers and processors in agricultural systems. The partnership with Stellapps is in line with DBS Bank’s vision for a Zero Food Waste future as digitalization will optimize milk production and supply, minimizing milk wastage.

Source : Business Insider, Jan 14th 2022

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