ICT Update focuses on Blockchain applications for Agriculture
Blockchain or distributed ledger technologies are relatively new technologies and have been adopted in a number of sectors. The recent ICT update explains what blockchains are and their applications in agriculture.
The most appealing aspect of this technology is its focus on trust, transparency of transactions, immutability and incorruptibility of transactions, low operating and transactional costs and distributed governance in a large network.
In light of these reasons, one of the article cites the following applications in agriculture
Blockchains can allow consumers to track and trace products through the value chains. The current systems fail to help consumers to verify the products along the value chain, hence blockchain technology ‘could offer more certainty about the integrity and correctness of the information accompanying goods’. Example: A consortium of the World Wildlife Fund in New Zealand, Fiji and Australia is cited as setting up a provenance system based on blockchain technology for the value chain of whole tuna. When tuna is caught it is labelled on the vessel with a chip which will be traced to the processing company. This code is fixed to the tuna so that consumers can use their phone in the supermarket to trace and access relevant data.
Land ownership is at the centre of agricultural productivity. Blockchain technology is also used to capture land information and land transactions and this helps in verifying ownership data. Example: In Ghana the BenBen Ghana is cited where they created a platform to capture transactions and aims in the future to create smart mortgages.
Insurance strives on facts of events after a loss, for example an insurance company would establish these before a pay-out is made. With the rising of index insurances where weather data can be combined with remote sensing, blockchain makes it possible to determine predefined requirements. Example: Etherisc is building a platform for decentralized insurance applications for crop insurance for smallholder farmers.
Other articles on blockchains in the current issue include
- Assessing the need for blochain applications
- The blockchain: opportunities and challenges for agriculture
- #Agblockchain: Values and fallacies.
- The rise of blockchain technology in agriculture
Read the full issue here