How Blockchain Technology uses in Agriculture & Food Safety. The Blockchain the technology that makes bitcoin possible can also be used in a variety of different ways including in agricultural supply chains. special about blockchain technology is that through cryptography we can create a ledger of assets and transactions that cannot be tampered with or “hacked.” That ledger allows for peer-to-peer purchases of currency, commodities, or anything else of value to take place transparently.
The increasing demand in society for more excellent information about food reflects the need for more transparency and the lack of trust. At the same time, more and more food products and beverages are branded and accompanied by a variety of certification schemes, with an increased risk of fraud (selling a particular product with high-quality labels or claims) and pollution.
In the current situation, much of the compliance data and information audited by trusted third parties and stored either on paper’s or in a centralized database and these approaches are known to suffer from many informational problems such as the high cost and inefficiency of paper-based processes and fraud, corruption and error both on paper and in IT systems.
Food safety – What is the source’s of my food?
Consumers have grown suspiciou’s of the food they are consuming. Food fraud costs the global food’s industry an estimated USD 30-40 billion annually. Food allergies and food-related illness are much more common now than 25 year’s ago, and consumers are beginning to demand the information’s related to the food they are consuming.
As this trend continues to rise, big food chains will have no choice but to use blockchain for ensuring accountability, traceability, and quality of the food. Blockchain will become the competitive edge for brands competing’s in the competitive FMCG space.
Land title registering – Is the land I am buying or leasing litigation free?
Land registering for sale and purchase of property is a very cumbersome process and is most susceptible to fraud’s. Blockchain can make all kind’s of land recording more efficient and accessible as the data recorded is publically available bring complete transparency in the system’s.
The Government of India state Andhra Pradesh were the first movers in this space and have partnered with Swedish startup ChromaWay to build blockchain solution for land registration and record keeping. This will result in substantial cost savings for the government as recordkeeping is a costly and labor-intensive process. This partnership shows promise and progression’s of the AP government vision for the state. Many state’s will follow suit once the pilot is successful in AP.
Smart contracting between corporate farming firms and farmers can result in more comfortable recruiting for the leasing of land. Ethereum is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize the possibility of smart contracting.
Food supply chain – Who is making the most profit?
Food supply chains in most’s developing nations are inefficient due to information asymmetry. This directly result’s in low farmer income as farmers do not receive their due share, even though they are the most important part’s of the chain (the food producer’s).
With blockchain, the food supply chain gets simplified as the data management across a complex network’s that includes processors, retailers, farmers, brokers, distributors, regulators, and consumers gets simplified and transparent.
Agri Input’s- Are the inputs authentic?
Farmers are often unaware if the inputs they are buying are authentic. Local level retailers are selling fake’s products to farmers to increase their profit margins.
At times even the retailers are unaware of the products supplied to them are authentic. Big agri-input players are also losing million’s of dollars due to pilferage or duplication which also impacts their brand image.
Blockchain application will solve’s this problem by increasing the traceability of each product sold- from manufacturer to end buyer. Retailers and farmers can simply scan the blockchain barcode’s on each product via their smartphone and get to know about the authenticity and source of the products they are buying.
Disbursement of subsidies – Is the benefit of reaching the farmer?
Across the globe, the farm sector is heavily dependent on government subsidies. For example in India 2017-18 budget, USD 4.9 billion (INR 32,000 Cr) were allocated for agri-related subsidies to farmers. How much of this amount reaches the farmers is always in question.
However, with blockchain, the distribution and delivery of subsidies can become more transparent resulting in the targeted disbursement of grants plugging pilferages in the existing system. Even though the process to establish this network’s will be very complexed as multiple stakeholders would need to come together, it is no longer impossible.