Blockchains & Agriculture in India

So I’ve been investing a lot of time into researching use cases of blockchains in different industries and how it can help with the existing structures, how can it speed up the process? or maybe reduce costs & improve traceability.

Agriculture plays a vital role in India’s economy. Over 58 per cent of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. The share of primary sectors (including agriculture, livestock, forestry and fishery) is estimated to be 20.4 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA) during 2016-17 at current prices.

That’s a HUGE figure!

Agriculture Industry at its Heart is extremely complex!

The agricultural supply chain is quite inefficient. A big problem here is the great disconnection between supplier and retailer. It is very difficult to track issues, trace the origin of products and give a fair price for producers. And that while regulatory pressure, food crises and scandals have increased the need for greater supply chain transparency and thus the need for data integration.

Application of Blockchains

Blockchain, specifically Hyperledger Blockchains can really help here. Hyperledger is a collection of blockchains like Fabric, Sawtooth, Iroha etc, which are built specifically around solving enterprise supply chains and are quite different from permissionless blockchains like Bitcoin & Ethereum.

Following are some ideas on how it can be useful.

Food Tracking: With blockchains, every person involved in the supply chain and every process involved comes under one single ecosystem. This allows for complete transparency between the parties wherein they are able to initiate transaction from origin and accept the same at the other end. The regulatories can tap into the blockchains to ensure all the parties are operating properly and take action against the parties not following proper processes. The product itself can be tracked throughout its journey and ensure the quality of the same using RFIDs which integrate easily with blockchains. Sawtooth a blockchain developed initially by Intel specifically taps into tracking properties of products.

Fair Pricing: Blockchain can provide an easy solution for both buyers and suppliers seeking to negotiate a fair price for their product. Using Blockchain, commodity buyers are able to deal with their supplier directly and transfer payment via mobile. This may ensure that farmers receive fair payment for their produce and the retailer pays a fair price as that would save the retailer money passed to agents. Ultimately, this technology enables farmers, manufacturers, and retailers to justify premiums for certain products. Blockchains like Fabric, developed at IBM has features like channels that allow you to hide specific transaction details from other parties with whom you want to keep pricings or other such details separately.

There can be many other use cases like.

  1. Data Monitoring & opening possibilities to big data
  2. Land Registry Records
  3. Better Financing

Companies trying to solve these problems today

  1. SkuChain
  2. Provenance
  3. FarmShare

I will be exploring a lot more industries and will be publishing more information soon! We at 8om Internet are also committed to improving businesses by providing holistic solutions and gather data to provide enterprise analytics and intelligence to take informed decisions. We believe that blockchains can really improve and provide a central source of truth for all such solutions.

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