Tech Innovation and the Future of Farming in Africa

How mobile and blockchain technologies are changing farming

More than half of Africa’s population is involved in agricultural production in some way. Many are smallholder farmers, which usually means they own small plots of land and grow one or two cash crops that rely almost exclusively on family labor. Smallholder farmers in Africa often have inadequate access to the financial services that many of us take for granted. Their lack of access to resources results in ineffective commodity pricing and logistics, leading to weak profits.

Technology is starting to make a difference, however. Mobile phones are helping farmers conduct transactions and gain access to payment services. One organization that’s helping lead the way is FinComEco, a platform that helps farmers get current market prices on commodities through their mobile devices. The platform also helps them bring surplus crops to warehouses so they don’t miss out on potential income.

Many banks in Africa don’t have the infrastructure or the money to offer electronic resources like mobile apps for banking, so tech companies are filling the gaps. Farmers who are paid electronically through mobile apps can allocate payments towards buying necessary services. In the future, tech entrepreneurs plan to offer more banking services including loans.

Since FinComEco launched last year, it’s forged agreements to work in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, and Uganda, and is in discussion to operate in 18 other African countries. The company plans to bring in external investment to make new warehouses for farmers. FinComEco has a joint venture with UK listed company Block Commodities called FACES (Food Asset Commodities Ecosystem) Blockchain. FACES Blockchain has partnered with Swarm Fund to help raise capital using blockchain technology via a cryptocurrency called FarmCoin. This partnership aims to provide a massive influx of capital to help a good proportion of the estimated 700mn unbanked farmers in Africa.

Cryptocurrency could play a major role in the future of smallholder farming in Africa. With platforms like Swarm, investors all over the globe can support these initiatives in Africa and the innovative technologies that support new paradigms for the continent’s millions of smallholder farmers.

With an influx of investor capital, companies like FACES Blockchain can provide loans to farmers. Crypto assets unlock an alternative means for finance, partly because crypto asset holders aren’t earning interest. Crypto loans can therefore be provided much more cheaply than traditional banking loans, unlocking millions of dollars that otherwise wouldn’t have been available. FarmCoin can be used as a means of alternative finance, which can help farmers buy more cost effective and better inputs (pesticides, fertiliser and seeds) as well as much needed farming equipment aiding automation and therefore facilitating capacity building and increased productivity. It therefore acts not only as a utility token but also an asset backed infrastructure investment token.

Further down the line, FACES Blockchain – working with other entrepreneurs in tech and crypto – hopes to build an “app store” for African farmers that allows them to access resources and boost their profits more effectively using FarmCoin as a medium of exchange. This app store could also link farmers to warehouses and banking solutions, along with other services like loans, crop insurance, and agricultural inputs. Farmers will benefit by competition from service providers to deliver the best service at the best price, and service providers will benefit by having access to thousands of farming customers.

FACES Blockchain and others are excited about the future of technology and cryptocurrency in Africa, and are keen to work with development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank to create value add. There’s great potential for tech leaders in Africa to make an impact by collaborating with the World Food Programme, the Food to Market Alliance, the United Nations and more. Many projects are working to make a difference in Africa, and connecting farmers through cutting edge technologies and access to investment is just the beginning.

GMEX named as one of the leading Financial Services technology companies in UK blockchain economy

Hirander Misra, Chairman and CEO named key business influencer

London, 17 July 2018. GMEX Group (GMEX), a provider of innovative exchange, post-trade and digital technology solutions, is pleased to have been identified as one of the leaders in the implementation of blockchain technology in the Financial Services industry in a first-of-its-kind, report on the state of the Blockchain Industry in the United Kingdom. The report was launched at a Reception in London at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 16 July.

The 960-page report was created by Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics who have worked together to conduct the most comprehensive analysis of the UK-based Blockchain and Crypto Economy Industries to date, in coordination with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain (APPG Blockchain).

The report recognises GMEX as amongst the top 10 leading UK Blockchain companies and a successful example of a Blockchain FinTech company. It highlights Fusion, GMEX’s hybrid centralised & Blockchain based global exchange trading, market surveillance, post trade infrastructure and digital solutions suite to tokenise multiple asset classes and two GMEX-backed initiatives illustrating how blockchain is being implemented to support the crypto economy in emerging markets.

The first, FinComEco – a fully integrated financial & commodities ecosystem
launched by GMEX Group – delivers high impact projects facilitating agricultural value chain efficiencies through provision of strategic value-added services including electronic warehouse receipt systems; physical exchanges and trading platforms; commodities and input finance; and digital banking, training and capacity building. This includes the establishment of commodities exchanges underpinned by Blockchain technology.

The second, MINDEX – the Mauritius-based International Derivatives and Commodities Exchange – will enable sourcing, trading and financing of ethically sourced gold from bona fide sources by using Blockchain for provenance verification and creation of digital gold asset based on it.

The report also named Hirander Misra, Chairman and CEO of GMEX Group, as one of the Top 10 Business sector UK Blockchain Influencers and part of the Top 40 influencers overall, with an additional 10 selected from each of Parliament & Government, Academia and Think Tanks & Hubs.

Hirander Misra commented, “I am delighted, both personally and for the team at GMEX, to have been included in this comprehensive report into such an important and growing part of the UK economy and technology space.” Adding, “This is an exciting stage in the development of blockchain technology and with our GMEX Fusion solutions, we at GMEX are committed to making best use of the benefits it brings globally, where it is most appropriate.”

Sean Kiernan, CEO at DAG Global commented, “We are very pleased to have collaborated with several leading UK blockchain partners and firms to create this landmark report, which we hope will invite further discussion about the future of the industry in this country. This has been a wonderful opportunity to deepen our ongoing partnership with GMEX, by establishing a dialogue through this and anticipated future reports with key decision-makers.”

The report outlines the current state of the Blockchain and Crypto Economy industries, summarises the history of its development, and offers concrete projections relating to its evolution over the course of the next several years, detailing why the UK has significant potential to become a major world leader of the Digital & Crypto Economy ecosystem.

“GMEX is a notable practical case profiled in the report providing clear example of the progressive UK FinTech company merging traditional legacy economy with the new rising Digital Crypto economy. One of the main conclusions of the analytical report is that UK will become major global Hub for this new economy. I would envision that GMEX in particular will be one the crucial elements to make that opportunity for the UK to become reality.” – said Dmitry Kaminskiy, founder of Deep Knowledge Analytics, one of the main entities standing behind creation of the report.

The report offers in-depth profiles of identified major companies, investors, influencers, R&D centres, and other industry and governmental entities and players. It also includes coverage of relevant government initiatives, regulatory frameworks and guidelines, and industry roadblocks both today and anticipated in the next several years.

The 960-page report and Executive Summary can be downloaded from or

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Media Contact

GMEX Group
Melanie Budden
The Realization Group

About GMEX Group

GMEX Group is a set of companies that offer sustainable and innovative solutions for a new era of global financial markets. Providing business expertise, the latest technology, connectivity & operational excellence delivered through an aligned partnership driven approach. We use our extensive market infrastructure experience and expertise to create an appropriate strategic master plan with exchanges, clearing houses, depositories, registries and warehouse receipt platforms.

Our key business solutions enable the creation and operation of cost effective electronic exchanges and post trade infrastructure in multiple asset classes including equities, debt, FX, derivatives, commodities, cryptocurrencies and digital assets. We operate in both developing and developed markets through the establishment of cohesive business and technology ecosystems. GMEX offers the added benefit of interconnection to multiple partner exchanges, to create global networks of liquidity.

GMEX was founded by Hirander Misra, co-founder of the Chi-X Europe exchange, a successful competitor to the LSE. It represents Mr Misra’s ongoing commitment to exploring new markets and new technical solutions, substantiated many times over with his efforts to expand access to capital markets through fast-emerging digital asset classes and emerging economies like India, Vietnam, Lebanon, Tajikistan and more.

GMEX Group ensures a cohesive strategic direction is maintained and comprises of:

  • GMEX Technologies: is a provider of multi-asset exchange trading and post trade technology through a unique partnership driven approach
  • GMEX Innovation: conducts R&D of technologically advanced new product solutions for exchange trading, clearing and settlement
  • GMEX Services: provides strategic consultancy, implementing services & support for exchanges and market infrastructure providers
  • GMEX Investments: enables selective seed and early stage strategic investments into market infrastructure and related FinTech companies.

For more information visit or @GMEX_Group

About Big Innovation Centre:

Big Innovation Centre exists to help businesses, public agencies and universities put their open innovation principles into practice. Acting as an open innovation hub, Big Innovation Centre convenes a network of representative global companies in every sector, plus national public agencies and some of the best universities. Through this coalition we are building world-class innovation ecosystems and co-creating global innovation and investment hubs. Our aim is to help rebalance and grow national and regional economies. Our partners pool and share resources – technology, IP, data, skills, space, entrepreneurial finance – so our people can work together as co-catalysts to solve the grand challenges. Big Innovation Centre enlarges the innovative capability of its partner organizations, and itself becomes a ‘go-to’ place where commercial and public sector ideas are shared, tested and realized. We create a trusted space for people from cutting edge companies, universities and public agencies to meet and co-create a better world.

For more information visit:

About DAG Global:

DAG’s mission is to bridge traditional financial services with emerging digital assets to provide the premier trusted platform to access the digital and crypto economy. DAG aims to bring together the tradition of regulated banking and exchange with emerging innovation and blockchain technology. We will provide traditional banking services and solutions for digital asset businesses, as well as facilitate an entry into the emerging blockchain economy for existing regulated financial services firms. The DAG team has significant and proven expertise in building successful digital enterprises, putting us in pole position to become the first internationally-regulated Crypto Bank. We will service client requirements for lending and funding through our own bank, as well as a peer-to-peer platform, curating independently valued deals, with the objective to build an investment ecosystem. Our core team comes from the traditional regulated banking world combined with DeepTech expertise, to uniquely operate within the next industrial revolution at the convergence of AI, data science, blockchain, and the evolution of the crypto economy and financial industry.

For more information visit:

About Deep Knowledge Analytics:

Deep Knowledge Analytics is the analytical department of Deep Knowledge Ventures, a VC firm focusing on early-stage investments in disruptive DeepTech technologies and regularly producing advanced industry analytical reports on the subjects of FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Longevity, Crypto Economy and Convergence of Technological MegaTrends.

For more information visit: