Blockchain proved itself as a revolutionary technology. It has been transforming many sectors since its inception. Initially, change started with the finance and banking industry which soon spread to other sectors. Retail, energy, governance, and healthcare sectors started experiments with blockchain.
Agricultural industry, too, soon understood the potential of blockchain. Many countries, like India, are working to create a system which can help grow agriculture industry.
Supply chain is an essential part of the industry. Blockchain based applications are able to maintain every track record happening from farmer to consumer.
There may be a long chain of intermediates between a farmer and a consumer. Traditionally, It was not easy to trace every transaction happened among each intermediate. Blockchain can make these transactions traceable.
How it Works?
Farmers can create a small contract with the suppliers to whom they are selling their crop. This data will be saved in the blockchain database.
Now, if suppliers sell this crop to the retailers, they will create the same contract with them. When their transaction is complete, the data will be saved in the blockchain platform. This process can be followed by and with everyone in the chain. Whether it is transport service or port authorities or insurance agencies.
If this process is followed then the last person can check all the transactions happened in the database. This can help him know which farmer grew the crop, which supplier supplied it, and which transport company transported it.
We analysed some major challenges which farming sector faces and tried to understand how blockchain based application development can make a difference.
The consciousness about food safety is rising in consumers globally. Buyers are keen to know whether manufacturers have followed the food safety parameters or not.
The World Health Organization (WHO) found out that around 400,000 people die every year due to contaminated food.
In 2017, more than 200 people were found infected with Salmonella infections in the US.
U.S. FDA investigated and found that imported Maradol papayas from Mexico were the reason behind the infections.
Above are a couple of scenarios which can help you understand why food safety is important.
Blockchain can solve this problem with traceability feature. Let’s understand this in the next point.
As we discussed earlier that supply chain is an essential part of the industry. But now, tracing this chain is not easy. If you want to find out which farmer has grown the grains you bought, you will have to go through a long and hectic process. This may take some days or months.
Now, if this supply chain is using blockchain then you can know about the manufacturer or farmer within a few seconds. Blockchain based applications make the supply chain process transparent.
If there is an epidemic due to poisonous food then the producer of the food can be traced within seconds. We can also trace where else that food was supplied and can pull all that back.
This transparency will alert the manufactures and producers as well to not make mistakes.
Transportation & Logistics:
The transport and logistics industry is enormous in itself and the challenges are also not less. Whoever has worked in this industry knows that this sector has many difficulties.
Logistics is the backbone of the supply chain industry. In that case, logistics is very important in the agriculture sector as well.
Logistics industry always looks for innovative ways which can reduce their task force and improve functionalities.
With blockchain, this industry can improve the efficiency of the shipping process, they can track inventory easily, their transparency will improve, and invoicing will be more comfortable.
One of the most important features which made blockchain popular was its negligible transaction cost. Blockchain based applications can reduce the cost of a transaction.
Buyers and sellers can make transactions without the need for a third party (e.g. banks) using blockchain.
Blockchain is a digital ledger which can not be hacked. One can only update it but practically it can not be hacked.
This means that blockchain will be a game-changer for supply chains because it will reduce the overall cost of a product.
Above are a few challenges which are important and very potential to the agriculture industry. It will be a massive task to reshape the complete framework of an industry which is so very vast. But we have to begin from any point to reach our goal. Though, many organizations even countries have started working to implement blockchain development.
Soon, we will see agricultural transactions, transportation, and contracts executing on the blockchain platforms.