New Publication: Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry


New Publication: Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) have published a new book on the application of Blockchain in the Agri-food industry.

The publication comes after the spread of Blockchains application in a number of industries and sectors. Distributed ledger Technologies (DLTs) are poised to transform the global food industry and also the humanitarian work in food and agriculture.

Some low hanging gains on the use of blockchain technology are efficiency gains along value chains, and improving trust, transparency and traceability. However, how can small farmers and other farming community adopt and use this technology?

This publication comes in handy in explaining what blockchain technology is? How blockchains have been applied in food and agricultural sector and what policy considerations arise with the use and application of this technology


Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and smart contracts provide a unique opportunity to bring greater efficiency, transparency and traceability to the exchange of value and information in the agriculture sector. By utilising digital records, cryptography and the disintermediation of transaction processing and data storage, DLTs can improve both agricultural supply chains and rural development interventions in a number of ways.

The technology has the potential to simplify and integrate agricultural supply chains, enhance food safety, facilitate access to trade finance and other types of agricultural financial services, improve market transparency, provide greater legal certainty to land-tenure systems and strengthen accountability for compliance with international agreements related to agriculture.

This paper aims to facilitate a better understanding of the opportunities, benefits and applications of DLTs in agri-foods. It explores the potential of DLTs to address many of the challenges that disadvantaged market players face by participating in integrated supply chains. It also identifies the technical limits, possible institutional barriers to their adoption and the way forward for the public sector. Overall, it shows how DLTs can be an impetus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


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