Blockchain technology in agriculture is one of the innovations that make the process of growing and supplying crop produces simpler, the potential for blockchain technology merits increased investment and exploration.
What is blockchain technology?
A blockchain system is a decentralized, distributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many systems so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently.
A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests. Such a design facilitates a robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal.
Blockchain technology in agriculture can be applied effectively in the supply chain, managing warehouses, and silos. It is also utilized in the field as a tool for transmitting real-time data about crops and livestocks.
Types of Blockchain system
Blockchain System networks are classified based on their characteristics:
• Private: This network is controlled by a centralized entity. This system is operated by people with specific authentication and permission to verify and add records to the system. An example of this is a permissioned ledger between banks to settle inter-bank fund transfers.
• Public: This network is decentralized and visible to the public, this system allows any individual to join or leave the blockchain, also to verify and approve transactions. An example of this is timestamping.
• Consortium: This system is formed by a group of members who control the blockchain system by verifying and adding records to the system based on a consensus mechanism by a pre-selected set of nodes. An example of this is in regulatory-related decision-making.
Application of Blockchain technology in agriculture
Traceability of crop in the supply chain:
• Blockchain technology can help improve the traceability of crops for better outcomes.
• With a blockchain ledger, you tend to know the status of your crops right from planting to harvest.
• All collected data are secured and available in real-time.
• Proper documentation of this data helps in decision making most especially food safety.
• Provide reliable information regarding the origins of food.
Logistics and payment
• The blockchain system helps solve the problem of moving produce along the agricultural supply chain and ensures payments are not hindered.
• This system ensures farmers are free from the long chains of intermediaries.
• It helps communicate loads, geo-waypoints and basic compliance information with carriers.
• It helps provide more visibility across the supply chain
• It helps register the parties involved, price, date, and state of the product
Optimization of the Food Supply Chain
• It allows farmers to set their prices and optimize their quantities of products
• The system provides up-to-date supply and demand information to stakeholders
• It helps correct pricing imbalance by recording transactions in real-time
• It helps farmers to sell their commodities lowering transaction fees
• It provides the opportunity to receive payments and micro-financing
• It helps provide lower cost and faster payment options to agro commerce individual
Blockchain Start-ups transforming the Agricultural Sector
• AgriChain – A blockchain company focusing on enabling peer-to-peer agricultural transactions and processing while cutting out the middlemen.
• AgriDigital – A blockchain-based and integrated commodity management solution for the global grains industry. The platform helps to process complex agricultural transactions through smart contracts.
• AgriLedger – A UK social enterprise project supporting farmers in tracing food origins, getting easier access to financing, and storing transaction data.
• Demeter – A central hub to rent and farm micro fields anywhere in the world – with no middlemen, complexity or the overhead of a big organization.
• Etherisc – A blockchain startup offering crop insurance to farmers via its decentralized insurance applications.
• Ripe – By designing a transparent digital food supply chain, the startup harnesses quality food data to create the Blockchain of Food – mapping the food journey.
• TE-FOOD – Applies identification tools to livestock, transports, and fresh food packages to follow the items throughout the whole supply chain.
• Worldcovr – Provide crop insurance to protect against loss of yield using satellites to monitor the rainfall and trigger payouts automatically.
Other uses of blockchain technology
Finance sector: Disberse provides an alternative financial infrastructure for the aid industry built on blockchain technology. Disberse provides end to end real time tracking, providing complete and immutable data for reporting, auditing and compliance trails.
Digital identity: BanQu created the Economic Identity Platform that enables a secure and immutable network for creating bottom-up economic
opportunities for the bottom of the pyramid
Education sector: Learning Machine creates a lifelong learning record with verifiable, tamper-proof documentation and certifications. This also facilitates instant decentralized verification.
Logistics sector: Modum work by combining IoT sensors with blockchain technologies thereby providing data integrity for transactions involving physical products.
Health sector: Minthealth enables patients to proactively manage their health by creating a self-sovereign health record and a global unique identifier that facilitates seamless and secure transfer of clinical and behavioral data between patient-authorized stakeholders.
Insurance sector: Allianz Risk Transfer and Nephila have successfully piloted blockchain technology for catastrophe swap. According to Allianz, the pilot demonstrates
that transactional processing and settlement between insurers and investors could be
significantly accelerated and simplified by blockchain-based contracts.
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