What do we know about blockchain? We often say that it is a great innovation that has the potential to transform many sectors. Right!!
But we mainly discuss its role in:
- Healthcare, or
We also know that a lot of fields, like the metaverse, law, real estate, banking, and so on, will change a lot because of this technology.
But we don't know that blockchain has a lot of potential in agriculture, too. We haven't really investigated this area very much yet. If you look closely, you will see that this technology can address some of the significant challenges that agriculture faces today.
Challenges in the Agriculture Sector
1. Lack of transparency and traceability in the food supply chain, which affects food safety, quality, and sustainability.
2. Inefficiencies and high costs of transactions, contracts, and payments, which limit access to markets and finance for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses.
3. Fragmentation and duplication of data, which hinders decision-making and innovation.
How can blockchain help you in Agriculture Sector?
Blockchain technology can provide solutions for these challenges:
1. It can help to create a digital record of the provenance and quality of agricultural products, which can increase consumer confidence and loyalty, reduce food waste and fraud, and improve compliance with standards and regulations.
2. Facilitating smart contracts and peer-to-peer transactions, which can reduce transaction costs and risks, improve cash flow and liquidity, and enable access to new markets and services.
3. Enabling data sharing and integration, which can enhance data quality and availability, support data-driven decision-making and innovation, and empower farmers and other stakeholders with more information and control.
How can you Apply Blockchain Technology in Agriculture?
You can apply blockchain technology in various aspects of agriculture, such as:
1. Farm inventory management
Blockchain can help farmers keep track of their inputs, outputs and assets, such as seeds, fertilizers, crops, livestock and agro-based equipment. It also improves the efficiency, productivity and profitability of farming operations.
2. Loans for small and midsized farmers
With the help of blockchain, smallholder farmers and agribusinesses, who often face difficulties in obtaining formal financing due to a lack of collateral, credit history, or documentation, can get access to credit and insurance.
It allows an alternative source of funding, such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, or microfinance that is based on verifiable data and reputation.
3. Land registry
Land registration systems are full of problems, like poorly updated land records, especially in urban areas, heavy litigation, difficulty in assessing the encumbrance on land at the time of purchase, and an inefficient delivery system, and blockchain can provide a secure and transparent way of registering land ownership and transactions, which can prevent land disputes, fraud and corruption.
Even blockchain can also facilitate land titling and certification, which can increase land security and value for farmers.
4. Supply chain management
A disruption in the supply chain is an event that stops or slows down the making, selling, or distributing of products. And blockchain can help end-to-end visibility and traceability of agricultural products from farm to fork, which can improve food safety, quality, and sustainability.
5. Data management
At the 2018 CGIAR Big Data in Agriculture Convention in Nairobi, agricultural scientists and data scientists brainstormed ways to apply Big Data to agriculture. And blockchain can be one such technology. It can enable data sharing and integration among different actors in the agriculture sector, such as farmers, researchers, extension agents, policymakers, and consumers. Blockchain can also ensure data integrity, security, and privacy and enhance data quality and availability, support data-driven decision-making and innovation, and empower farmers and other stakeholders with more information and control.
What are the Advantages of Blockchain Technology in Agriculture?
1. It increases transparency and traceability in the food supply chain, which improves food safety, quality, and sustainability.
2. It reduces the inefficiencies and costs of transactions, contracts, and payments, which improves access to markets and finance for smallholder farmers and agribusinesses.
3. It enhances data sharing and integration, which improves data quality and availability, support data-driven decision-making and innovation, and empowers farmers and other stakeholders with more information and control.
Blockchain technology is a powerful tool that can revolutionize the agriculture sector by creating a more transparent, efficient, and sustainable food system. And it can benefit farmers by increasing their income, reducing their costs, improving their cash flow, and enhancing their reputation.
However, blockchain technology is not a silver bullet that can solve all the problems of agriculture. Blockchain technology also faces some technical, institutional, and social challenges that need to be overcome before it can be widely adopted and implemented. Blockchain technology also requires a high level of trust and collaboration among different actors in the food system, which may not be easy to achieve given the diversity and complexity of the sector.