The Role of Blockchain Technology in Agriculture Supply Chain

Several industries, including life sciences, government, banking, and manufacturing, are adopting and using blockchain as it offers enhanced security, greater transparency, and instant traceability.

Unsurprisingly, worldwide spending on blockchain solutions is expected to grow from 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 to an estimated 19 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, says Statista report.

“The blockchain is going to change everything more than the internet has.”

Brock Pierce, General Partner, SpaceFund

A blockchain is a shared, immutable, and decentralized ledger of all transactions that are duplicated and distributed across a peer-to-peer network. It has the power to transform the way we live by making the data open, anonymous, and unalterable. For example, in the case of an election, with blockchain technology, each vote could be recorded anonymously in an unalterable public ledger, which makes the final results beyond any questions and without human tampering.

Today, blockchain applications have gone far beyond cryptocurrency and bitcoin. As a result, we will find a growing list of applications and use cases of blockchain technology in business and life. One such prominent blockchain use case is building a transparent supply chain in agriculture. So let’s see how this technology is making a difference in the agriculture supply chain and benefiting the consumers and the environment.

Traditionally, IoT-based tracking systems using wireless network systems were used to monitor and track agri-food chains. But this centralization of IoT-based systems made it difficult for consumers and vendors to track this chain and lacked information on the origin of goods, environmental footprints, etc. But with the introduction of blockchain technology in the agriculture supply chain, trust and transparency have been increased among consumers, along with enhanced food security, food safety, food integrity, waste management, and supervision management.

Let’s see how blockchain technology has helped enhance each of these criteria of the agriculture supply chain.

Food security: Ethereum-based blockchain has helped 10000 refugees in Jordan’s Azraq camp get food via digital food coupons, which could be redeemed via biometric data. Due to various humanitarian, environmental disasters, violent, political, and ethnic conflicts, having access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food that satisfies the dietary needs of all people at all times has become difficult. But with the application of blockchain technology in the agriculture supply chain, transparent delivery of international aid, disintermediating the delivery process, making records and assets verifiable and accessible, and responding more rapidly and efficiently have become possible.

Food safety: The result of the studies done by Walmart and Kroger on the implementation of blockchain technology in the supply chain showed that tracking the information from the supermarket to the origin of the food was reduced from several days to a few seconds. Food safety and quality assurance have become complex in times of growing global flows.

Food supply chains are characterized by reduced trust, long shipment distance, high complexity, and significant processing times. Blockchain technology could provide an effective solution for an urgent need for improved food traceability regarding its safety and transparency. Furthermore, recording information about food products at every stage of the supply chain ensures good hygienic conditions, identifying contaminated products and risks as early as possible.

Food integrity: Downstream beer companies implemented blockchain technology and revealed everything that one wants to know about beer, i.e., from ingredients to brewing methods, which guarantees transparency and authenticity. Food integrity ensures the reliable exchange of food in the supply chain. Each stakeholder is responsible for delivering complete details about the origin of goods. Blockchain helps to enhance food safety and integrity by providing high traceability. With the help of blockchain, food companies can also mitigate food fraud by quickly identifying and linking outbreaks back to their specific source.

Waste management: Blockchain technology helps in various waste management initiatives by improving the recycling and sorting of waste produced along the food chain. With the help of blockchain, awareness about the environment in which food is being produced can be raised. Degradation of soil, land, and water has become critical, as it affects food quality. Water resources and soil management are of utmost importance when it comes to the proper management and rational use of agricultural fields. Blockchain helps in this regard to produce food sustainably by tracing all the details and creating public pressure on all the stakeholders.

Supervision and management: Blockchain technology can be used as an effective credit evaluation system to strengthen supervision and management in the food supply chain. It also can improve the monitoring of international agreements relevant to agriculture. Blockchain technology in the agriculture supply chain makes the traders accountable for all their actions in the process of transaction and credit evaluation by the regulators. In addition, blockchain-based contracts help mitigate labor exploitation and protect them with temporary agreements and employment relationships. With the implementation of blockchain technology in agriculture, the fairness of payment and taxation has been enhanced.

Conclusion

Thus blockchain technology, with its ability to make the agriculture supply chain simple and traceable from origin to the last stage, is ready to transform the industry benefiting consumers and the environment. Talk to our experts and learn more about how you can leverage the power of blockchain technology to take your agriculture supply chain to the next level.

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