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Kubota and NYK Group’s MarCoPay Begin Supporting Filipino Seafarers’ Purchase of Agricultural Machinery

In October, Kubota Philippines, Inc. (KPI), a sales subsidiary of Kubota Corporation in the Philippines, and MarCoPay Inc., a Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) group company that operates the MarCoPay financial platform for seafarers, formed a business alliance. On October 27, KPI and MarCoPay Inc. began supporting the purchase of agricultural machinery by Filipino seafarers. Using the MarCoPay mobile app for seafarers, the two companies will introduce Kubota’s agricultural machinery lineup and dealers, grant various purchase benefits, and offer business-model seminars, among other possible services. This initiative will support a living-standard enhancement by advocating farming as a side job that can help provide a stable income to Filipino seafarers who are without a salary during the disembarkation period. In addition, the alliance aims to develop agriculture in the Philippines, which is a rice-producing country, through the spread of agricultural machinery.

 

 

Background
The Philippines is one of the world’s leading suppliers of seafarers, with approximately 200,000 seafarers on oceangoing cargo ships being Filipino. Typically, seafarers on oceangoing cargo vessels disembark after several months to six months or more on board, take a leave of absence for a certain period, and then return for another multi-month duration on board, continually repeating the cycle. Filipino seafarers sometimes take side jobs to stabilize their earnings because of the absence of income during the disembarkation period. In addition, agriculture, mainly rice cultivation, is thriving in the Philippines, but there are still many areas where mechanization has stagnated.

Support Services
1. Provision of information before purchase
This service introduces the product lineup of tractors and combine harvesters, such as GPS-equipped agricultural machinery, allowing seafarers on board to use the MarCoPay app to check the usage status remotely. Seafarers can also use the app to find dealers.
* Agricultural machinery can be purchased from the nearest dealer.

2. Purchase benefits
Special discounts on GPS communication charges and other benefits will be offered to seafarers who use the MarCoPay app to purchase agricultural machinery from Kubota.

3. Business model advice
Through seminars and other means, seafarers can receive business-model advice on topics such as using farm machinery by themselves and with their family members, purchasing GPS-equipped agricultural machinery, and renting it out to neighboring farmers for a fee to earn income.

Other
Advertisements for Kubota’s agricultural machinery for seafarers will be posted on the MarCoPay app and in MarCoPay’s external media.

Future Developments
Through this alliance, KPI will promote the inflow of income from overseas workers into rural areas and further encourage agricultural mechanization. To create an environment where more seafarers can work in agricultural businesses, MarCoPay will consider providing loans to purchase agricultural machinery and partner with other agriculture-related services. Both companies will also work to understand the actual needs of Filipino seafarers and their families through questionnaires and individual interviews to expand and improve the service content.
Source: Nippon Yusen Kaisha

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