EMPOWERING FARMERS IN EAGA. Farm Konekt Founder and CEO Mr. John Gastanes (5th to the right) and Brunei Ambassador to the Philippines Her Excellency Megawati Manan (center) pose after the successful final discussion on the expansion of Farm Konekt’s ‘Agri-Tech Supply Chain Platform for BIMP-EAGA Markets’ project in Brunei during a meet at Brunei Embassy in the Philippines on 01 August 2023.
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, PALAWAN – Farm Konekt, a Palawan-based and farm management platform and start-up company expands its operation to Brunei Darussalam.
This was announced during a meeting at Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Manila, 28 July 2023. The said expansion is under its EAGA project, the ‘Farm Konekt Agri-Tech Supply Chain Platform for BIMP-EAGA Markets,’ which was presented to BIMP-EAGA key officials, experts, and representatives during this year’s Strategic Planning Meeting (SPM) in Bandar Seri Begawan in February.
Farm Konekt Founder and CEO John Gastanes said that this will lead to the clustering of services in Mindanao for the expansion phase, connecting it to the trade route between the Palawan, Mindanao, and BARMM to Muara Port in Brunei Darussalam.
“From there, Brunei will process its goods and send them to partner networks, especially in their Halal industry,” he adds.
The Farm Konekt Agri-Tech Supply Chain Platform for BIMP-EAGA Markets is one of the Philippine projects facilitated by MinDA which received a grant under BIMP-EAGA–Korea Cooperation Fund (BKCF) during its 2nd call for project proposal from BIMP-EAGA member countries in 2022.
With the recent expansion, the project will include clustering of Halal producers and distributors linked to Brunei Darussalam, who are seen to play a vital role in improving Halal standards, in collaboration with Philippine-based Halal Certifying bodies. The Farm Konekt Clustering platform will also capture Brunei's Halal Network in Indonesia and Malaysia, becoming the first consolidation and clustering platform for the BIMP-EAGA Sub-Region where private companies and business councils may integrate.
Gastanes stressed that the expansion marks a significant milestone in the company’s journey of creating a thriving ecosystem that enhances the inclusiveness in agri-fishery sector and brings sustainable progress to local farmers and fisherfolks in the EAGA region, especially for farmers with less than two hectarage, particularly in Brunei Darussalam’s network of partner farmers including in Malaysia and Indonesia.
“With this expansion, Farm Konekt is now poised to accelerate the growth and development of farmer clusters in Brunei, bolstered by the expertise and collaboration of our esteemed business partners, International Halal Trade Hub & Services (IHTHS Corporation), and Reefer Filipinas,” added Gastanes.
The said partnership was made possible by the support of Brunei Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency Megawati Manan, who will provide technical expertise and support on bilateral policies relevant to the project.