In this article, Sonal Mehta, a Content Lead at SoluLab, discusses how blockchain will benefit farming and what are the agriculture blockchain startups working on those benefits.
Food and water are the two kinds of stuff without which no one can survive in this world. Everyone needs this in right quantities on a daily basis to survive; where did this food come from? The agriculture sector, right? When agriculture is done in the right way, its outcome with increased productivity will enhance the development of the country in the process too.
Agriculture is a sector that is constantly in demand and this constant demand is constantly rising and increasing the demand-supply gap. This is because of the increased global population and limited or scarce resources to meet the demands of the population. However, blockchain use cases in agriculture will have a positive impact on meeting those demands successfully.
Blockchain Projects in Agriculture and Their Benefits
Agriculture also contributes to the country by creating demand for products that are manufactured and produced using the raw materials provided by farming.
There are some blockchain agriculture companies like provenance, OriginTrail, etc. today that have aimed towards reducing the challenges faced by farming using the features of blockchain. Some of these challenges include no availability of proper land maintenance resources, equipment or inability to forecast natural climatic changes, etc.
Ripe.io – Better Network Connection with Suppliers and Dealers
With blockchain, the farmer or the farming business is able to buy the reaped products such as grains, vegetables, flowers, spices, etc. and they are organized in a structured manner. Then those products can be allocated into groups and categories respective of its place of delivery or type of product, etc.
These products then can be easily sent to suppliers and dealers using blockchain platform. This is because blockchain provides a direct peer to peer connection and thus the farmer or the farming business does not have to wait for someone else to handle their supply. They themselves can connect with the supplier and make the transaction successfully.
With blockchain, farmers also have the ability to track their products and keep a track where their product is in the supply chain in real-time. Ripe.io is striving hard to provide a hassle-free tracking feature for the farmers, which will reduce the mal-practices and fraudulent activities.
AgriDigital – Cost of Operation and Transaction
Farmers of every country face the biggest challenge of dealing with the cost of transaction or operation to sell their products. Often, the cost of their selling is lower than the cost paid for the transaction undertook to make sure the products reach the customer. In simple words, the cost of the supply chain is higher than the price at which the products are sold. Because of this reason, most of the farmers end up in debt which they are striving hard to repay.
With blockchain, this major challenge can be eliminated as blockchain allows direct connection to the customer or supplier. Thus, there is no extra supply chain cost and also the farmer or the farming business is able to deliver their products more quickly. This is due to the feature of blockchain operating in a decentralized system.
AgriDigital is creating supply chain in a much transparent manner for farmers and their farming business using the technology of blockchain. They are using the feature of blockchain providing direct connection to other users to make a trade for framing food in such a way that, the farmers get their share of profit. This is possible by allowing the farmers to connect with buyers directly without having to wait.
UPS – Improved Analytics to Make Smart Decisions in Future
In agriculture, various activities are performed and traditionally these data are stored in paperwork, which makes it harder to verify or integrate data to make better decisions. With blockchain every process and operation that take place is stored digitally and they can be integrated with each other, which in turn will provide meaningful data to forecast or make smart decisions.
For example, blockchain stores data of when it rains; when the farmer sowed the seed when the farmer reaped the grown plants; climatic changes; wind pressure; groundwater levels, etc. When data like these are integrated with each other, the farmer will be able to forecast when to replenish the groundwater level; when to protect his crops in case of a forecasted rain or draught with the help of data stored.
Blockchain makes business analytics of farming more efficient and effective. UPS has made an alliance with blockchain in transport alliance to analyze and make better smarter decisions on logistics. They greatly feel that blockchain is the only way today farming will meet the current huge quantity of demands.
Indigo Agriculture – Inventory and resource management
In agriculture, lots of resources are used on a daily basis and they all need to be replenished constantly to avoid any disruption in the farming process. Without a record of the inventory, the farmer will face a great deal of trouble and challenge in maintaining a well-balanced supply and demand.
Blockchain helps to record all data from the inventory in a structured and organized manner, thus allowing the farmer to keep track of what needs to be bought, replaced and replenished.
Indigo Agriculture is working on the traceability, production and goods movement to help with the inventory management of farming resources; here, full-fledged adoption of blockchain can play pivotal role.
IBM Blockchain – Using internet of things (IoT)
Internet of things creates an environment where the farmer can monitor and track the soil quality, fertility, maintain pest-control, manage irrigation, etc. IoT sensors are deployed in the farming fields to record necessary data according to the requirement and the farmer gets accessibility to these data and is able to focus on what is the top priority to make better production.
IBM is working on providing such sensors and tracking data for farmers so that their agricultural business can blossom to reap profits.
Over to You: Blockchain is a Boon for Agriculture
Blockchain is going to revolutionize agriculture sector and hopefully soon, it will eradicate hunger and poverty in every country. With blockchain, farmers are able to track, monitor, control and manage different kinds of agricultural resources and goods. The potential of blockchain is realized and it is going to automate the agriculture sector too. Blockchain is going to change the world of agriculture sooner than you think.
Sonal Mehta is a Content Lead at SoluLab, a leading Enterprise Blockchain, Enterprise Mobile Apps and Web development company, started by ex-vice president of Goldman Sachs and ex-principal software architect of Citrix. SoluLab Inc provides full spectrum, 360-degree services to enterprises, startups and entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into awesome software products.