According to the March 2019 World Agricultural Report, by Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) / United States Department of Agriculture, following is the total world crop production.
World Crop Production
in Million Metric Tons
Along with other miscellaneous agriculture data from different countries and states, FAS states that the total world crop production is 756.4 Million Metric tons. It sounds pretty huge but do you know the current world population? It is 7.7 Billion and still rising. The world is nowhere near to meet the agricultural demand with the current rate of supply. This is not only because of the population but also various other Political, Environmental, Societal, Technological, Legal and Economical (PESTLE) factors.
With the help of blockchain technology for food and agriculture, the world agricultural demand can be expected to be met in accordance with appropriate supply. This is possible with blockchain through the benefits of decentralization. Though it may take time and years to make demand and supply equal, still blockchain provides a potential chance to raise up the total world crop production especially in the remote areas.
Agricultural blockchain solution: Grabbing tech benefits
Digitized route/transport of agricultural products
One of the biggest benefits of using blockchain in agriculture is that, due to the potential features offered through decentralization, farmers and customers can track the product’s path from sowing till delivering.
Blockchain provides digital smart contracts where all farmers, suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, equipment aggregators and customers all are a part of one single system. Everyone and anyone within the system can access any data and track processes and transactions in real-time. Also, all transactional data can be accessed only on a need to know basis with appropriate assigned public or private decryption keys.
Enhance confidence among the customers
The above benefit states that customers can track agricultural products but how exactly do they get those data? Following is a circumstantial example of how customers can track the data of the agricultural product they buy.
A customer visits a supermarket to buy groceries and during billing or while choosing products, they scan QR codes of the respective food products. Once they scan the QR code, the code fetches the complete data of the product that includes who is the seller, how it was manufactured, certification of the seller, certification of the product itself, etc. Customers can access the complete history and biography of the product. This is possible only with blockchain because data is encrypted and transparent.
Empowering farming decisions
One other soothing beneficial aspect of blockchain is that traditionally, farmers had problems in bargaining price with distributors or customers because they either lacked the skill to negotiate or didn’t have the resources to bargain with.
With the help of blockchain, now farmers can sell their products and good online too. In addition to this, farmers can also rent farming equipment instantly online. Farmers also get to rent at a lower cost than the price at which usually third-party banks offered.
Convenient registration of land
Registration of land for farming or any other agricultural purpose does not take days or months like before. With blockchain the stock piled up processes of reviewing applications, issuing necessary licenses and validating farmers credibility for loans become quicker and transparent. Blockchain saves a lot of cost as it does not require intense labor for accomplishing tasks. It can maintain records automatically with the help of smart contracts.
Enhance the quality in supply chain
Traditionally, the process of supply chain is complex and barely opaque due to the involvement of multiple middlemen and third-party services. In the business of agriculture, the shipment or any mode of supply chain is prone to instant changes due to various PESTEL factors. With blockchain, no matter what PESTEL factors changes, the supply chain is still intact with transparency and products are delivered to the respective markets on time. In short, blockchain helps to balance the imbalances in the supply chain.
Support shared economy
Unlike traditional approaches, farmers can now share equipment or economy between peers without having to apply for a bank loan for buying equipment of resources. Peers involved in agriculture can directly connect with each other and also invest in each other’s farming projects as they wish. This helps in bringing knowledgeable farmers and public crowds together too.
Conclusion: Adoption of blockchain in agriculture helps to cultivate better agricultural products
Blockchain in agriculture removes multiple layers of obstacles that stop farmers and food vendors from increasing their sales. No middlemen or any central authority will not be able to walk with the farmer’s hard-earned money hereafter. Farmers can digital sell their products directly and even make their products available on an international scale easily.
Blockchain is the future and agriculture are a source of daily livelihood. So, it is important to realize the importance of blockchain and put it to good use for accuracy and fully-functional agricultural environment.
Author Bio – Sonal Mehta
I am a Content Lead at SoluLab, a leading Blockchain 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.