Blockchain technology can provide pristine transparency in the food supply chain. With the advent of this technology, a slew of companies is being founded to leverage its benefits. This is due to its potential to drastically transform different sectors of the world today, like Banking and real estate. This high-potential technology does not leave behind the Agricultural industry.
As in other industries, blockchain technology can help optimize supply chain management in agriculture. Blockchain can help keep supply chain records like types of seeds, fertilizers, and soil used from the system’s planting phase to the harvest phase. It can also help keep distributors’ records and processes to ensure transparency and traceability. Promoting transparency in the agricultural supply chain can help address problems relating to food safety, haphazard use of chemicals, and an increase in productivity.
Food contamination has become an enormous concern in the world today
Food contamination can occur anywhere within the supply, delivery, or consumption chain. They are caused mainly by improper food processing or storage or contaminants such as air, water, or soil pollution.
There is excessive use of pesticides and other chemicals to combat the numerous catastrophes that have plagued the agricultural industry. These excessive chemical use has increased the threat to the safety of foods and agricultural products. Blockchain can solve the food supply and security problem by helping individuals and operators working in this space become more accountable for what goes on in the food supply chain.
Already, we have companies changing how we consume food using blockchain. Here are some:
The AgriChain blockchain technology is a decentralized system that enables real-time communication and management among supply chain participants and secures global transactions. Using the system will make inventory management more efficient for farmers, distributors, and retailers.
This Uk-based company helps agricultural businesses create digital identities, store transaction data, and track inventories by providing food traceability solutions to farmers.
IBM Food Trust
Creating a network that gives agricultural supply chain partners access to blockchain capacities, IBM Food Trust is the most prominent blockchain-based agricultural technology project. They adopt techniques to improve transparency, uniformity, efficiency, and profit recovery in the global food supply chain.
Verified Organic is an Ethereum blockchain-based application to improve organic food supply chain transparency. All data is stored and authenticated on the blockchain. The decentralized platform is armed with features that enhance the tracking of organic products from farm to table. The app’s primary aim is to help prevent inorganic products from being mistaken/mislabeled as organic products, aiding food transparency.
What are The Benefits of Traceability and Transparency in the Food Supply Chain?
There has been a growing necessity to emphasize the quality and traceability of products in the agricultural supply chain. Farmers, suppliers, and consumers can quickly build relationships based on trust. It is easier to access the data needed to ascertain the product’s quality and safety, mainly due to the blockchain used to record and track all the information. So how can farmers and consumers benefit from it?
Farmers, for instance, can easily distinguish themselves from the competition by showing a detailed production history of agro-products like seeds, soils, and fertilizers they have used. By so doing, they can easily acquire consumers’ trust. Farmers take inventories of all products they deliver to suppliers. They can quickly reduce product wastage in the future since blockchain can help them keep adequate and reliable records of their finance and promptly request loans based on their cash flow and crop activities in previous years. Very importantly, farmers can easily track those responsible for poor-quality products.
The consumer also benefits from traceability, accessing complete and reliable information about the food supply chain. Therefore they can ensure the quality and safety of their foods and products. Blockchain can provide them with information about their products’ quality, security, and nutrition. And they can see the value for their money firsthand.
Third-party stakeholders like non-governmental organizations, financial institutions, and regulators can access this reliable supply chain information. They can rely on it to make data-driven decisions.
Challenges Adopting Digital Supply Chain Tracking System in Nepal
Every industry has challenges to overcome. The supply chain tracking industry is not left out. First, many farmers, agro traders, and distributors are unaware of the technology and how it works. Therefore, a robust change management strategy needs to be developed and implemented. Conducting regular training, seminars, and workshops on how the technology works and how to use it can go a long way in solving this problem.
Again, many farmers might not have or understand how to use a smartphone. Similarly, training and workshops must be held for farmers to empower them with knowledge on smartphone use. With more awareness and emphasis on the traceability of the food supply chain technology, farmers can become more informed on how to do business better.
Various potentials are associated with using blockchain technology in agriculture. The use of digital technology will aid the country’s economic growth. Already, agriculture generates about 24% of the country’s GDP, and adopting this digital economy will increase the country’s financial strength.
The government and other agricultural-inclined organizations need to collaborate to help create an enabling environment in favor of farmers who transparently track their supply chains using blockchain. This way, the government is helping to support transparency and reduce waste and redundancy in the agricultural sector.