As 2022 draws to a close, I would like to provide you with an update on the AgriUT Foundation. Despite a downturn in the crypto market, which has temporarily reduced stakeholders’ appetite to invest in crypto related projects, we have taken some significant steps forward in our ambition to drive economic development in rural smallholder farming communities.
In fact, we foresee this market correction to be positive for the long-term prospects of the AgriUT Foundation as many of the ingenuine projects in the market will be removed.
The likely incoming regulation will also strengthen the AgriUT Foundations position in the market and help to build trust with stakeholders given the AgriUT token has been specifically designed to be compliant.
— Over 500k AgriUT tokens ($5,000 USD) have been sent to 212 smallholder coffee farmers. This has already made a significant positive impact on the lives of these farmers and has allowed them to purchase AgUnity smartphones which will provide on-going benefits for years to come.
— The AgriUT Foundation has applied to the Australian Charity and Non-profits Commission to obtain charity status which would allow the Foundation to receive tax deductible donations. We have had an encouraging and open dialog with the Commission and, if accepted, would be the first crypto foundation to achieve charity status in Australia.
— The AgriUT Foundation’s Funding & Allocation Committee was established earlier this year and, more recently, Masego Mbaakanyi has agreed to join the AgriUT Foundation’s Board. Masego’s career started in 2014 when she undertook an internship with Ernst & Young in Associate Transaction Services and in 2021 founded the Fintech Association Botswana which aims to build a collaborative fintech ecosystem for Botswana as well as create an enabling environment for open banking and financial inclusivity. In 2021 Masego also became a Venture Partner with Republic (www.republic.com), a New York based company that provides crowd funding-like access to vetted investment opportunities in startups, from video games to crypto. In April this year, she was asked to be the Chair of the Board Strategy Committee for CEDA (Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency) in Gaborone, where she started as a Non-Executive Board Member in 2020 and was nominated on to the 2021 Women in Fintech Powerlist. In August this year Masego founded Women in Fintech Africa so we look forward to benefitting from her experience and knowledge in 2023 onward.
— This month, we were awarded a $20,000 grant from the Australian High Commission via the Direct Aid Program. This funding will be used to complete a study and generate evidence of the impact that AgriUT can have on improving trust in the coffee value-chain and increasing farmer incomes. As part of the study, we will be engaging with stakeholders, including coffee importer Falcon Coffees and coffee consumers, and will demonstrate how increased transparency and verifiably increasing farmer incomes can improve customer brand loyalty. The outcomes from this study will be extremely useful for on-going business development activities.
— The AgriUT Foundation has created a podcast called ‘AgriUT Conversations’ and has now released the first three episodes with three more planned early 2023. These podcasts are designed to increase awareness of AgriUT, encourage engagement and inspire others to follow in the steps of guests striving to make the world a better place. Podcast episodes can be watched on YouTube or listened on Spotify.
— In late 2022, at the kind invitation of Federal Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong, AgUnity and the AgriUT Foundation were invited to a meeting in Parliament House, Canberra, to meet with Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister Tim Watts and his Chief of Staff. This was a very positive meeting to discuss AgUnity and the AgriUT Foundation expanding into the Pacific Islands and will now lead to a further introduction to Pat Conroy, Federal Minister International Trade and the Pacific Islands.
We appreciate your support on this journey, and I wish you a merry holiday season and a safe, happy and successful 2023.