Oct 06, 2020
Blockchain in Agriculture supply chain
Blockchain & Supply chain
Blockchain is a series of immutable records of data where each of these blocks of data is secured and contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block. The technology follows a decentralized approach; everyone involved has to follow the set of rules.
In a supply chain, there are multiple parties involved ( for e.g. in farming: a farmer, a distributor, a retailer and a consumer, etc.) with access to a shared set of data, about a common product that moves between them across its lifecycle. For making the supply chain process successful, every party that’s concerned with the product must show their involvement such as a farmer sharing the information about the product’s harvest, the distributor about the logistics, and the retailer about the price and consumer information.
Benefits of blockchain
Before we discuss the agriculture use-case, it’s imperative to understand some of the benefits that blockchain technology can bring to businesses. Blockchain facilitates trust through transparency and automated smart contracts while maintaining privacy and security across the supply chain. Some of the benefits have been cited below: –
Indestructible record of transactions throughout the supply chain ensuring the integrity of the information.
Transparency Real-time information to relevant participants eliminates disputes and data silos allowing for faster response time.
Permanent and immutable record of transactions provides a single source of data integrity.
Smart contracts help reduce paperwork, error rates, and intermediaries through automation.
Transparent record of all digital interaction facilitates easy authentication and expedited audits.
Blockchain in Agriculture
As a farmer, keeping track of important data or storing the crop information in a piece of paper or spreadsheet isn’t relatively practical, and here’s where Blockchain will help them by tracking every record of a crop from the moment it’s planted till it reaches its consumers. All information about the supply chain processes and events can be securely stored and accessible in real-time thus providing insights to all the actors in making the process efficient.
A major trend in food at a global level is the curiosity in consumers wanting to be familiar about where the food has come from or where it was produced and the labor and quality conditions etc. As mentioned earlier, Blockchain stores the data at every step in an immutable way which provides transparency and trust to the consumers about the food that they consume.
As food frauds are rapidly increasing (European Union Food Fraud Report) this is a problem that blockchain technology can solve. A supply chain application offers its consumer a complete understanding of the food which has been purchased by them. If there is any unethical activity, then the time and location of such events could be identified and stored in an immutable way in Blockchain to provide end to end traceability and audibility (the decentralized architecture and consensus mechanism built into blockchain makes it almost impossible for one actor in the supply chain to manipulate data).
To ensure food safety from farm to fork, The European Union has implemented the Trade Control and Expert System for food traceability and risk management functions, which traces the food products through the supply chain process. Blockchain-based solutions increase efficiency and traceability across the production chain and transform the technique of how we connect, execute, and perform the business.