8 Forward-Looking Use Cases For Blockchain In Agriculture

Technology

Agriculture alone is the largest branch of the entire world economy, not only contributing more than $992 billion to the United States’ GDP but also providing around 21.4 million jobs, ensuring agriculture and farming remains a competitive marketplace.Despite the above facts, the sector is still inefficient. It’s been facing a considerable number of the counterfeit, inefficient supply chain, lack of transparency, are some of the problems faced by agribusinesses. Moreover, since the blockchain represents a technology that promises to provide more consistency and efficiency in the vast agricultural areas, it seems only the concept of blockchain can solve these growing issues in agribusiness.The blockchain technology is powerful enough to revolutionize the entire agriculture sector.

8 Forward-Looking Use Cases For Blockchain In Agriculture

1. Traceability
2. Quality Control And Food Safety With The Help Of The Internet of Things
3. Boosting Efficiency of Farmers
4. Fairer Price
5. Improving Supply Chains
6. Weather Crisis Control
7. Managing Agricultural Finance
8. Upgrading Farm Management Software

1. Traceability  

In the agriculture sector, it often happens that there is a lack of transparency between the food manufactured and food consumed. The consumer has no clue about where his basic food is coming from. And the whole agriculture sector is prone to the malpractices going on in the agriculture sector. There is an increasing demand in society about the information on food, and with the growing exploitation in the particular field, food traceability is gaining attention. Consumers across the globe want to know more about the food being manufactured. The blockchain technology in agriculture uses special sensors that give related information about the food. We can not only cater to the needs of the growing population with the minimal use of resources and while maximizing customer satisfaction but also enable transparency across the entire supply chain section and guarantee fair income to the farmers. The blockchain shows an accurate picture of the condition from farm to market. 

For example; the startup Ripe.io is using blockchain technology, to track the crops, and providing all the information, to farmers, distributors as well as consumers. So the point is, with the help of traceability, growers can provide a better quality product to food processors. 

2. Quality Control And Food Safety With The Help Of The Internet of Things 

Agribusiness has benefited from the blockchain in many ways. And one of them is quality control and food safety. Monitoring quality crops is a challenging task. And the blockchain technology has made its mark by providing the sensors to track the quality of the stored crops over time.  After all, the ultimate goal of this application is to automate everything that is related to quality control. For example, IBM is leveraging the IoT technology and has made it possible for the farmers to monitor and keep track of the soil quality, irrigation, and that too in a highly and efficient manner. Blockchain has also been beneficial as it tracks the product transportation as well. Fetch all the vital information, like the temperature of the soil, water level, etc. 

3. Boosting Efficiency of Farmers 

From supply chain providers to end-users, all are reaping the benefit of the technology. This is how it creates the value chain of integrity, from the beginning to the end. Although the potential increase in the value of supply chain-specific technologies is not much apparent, a boost in value is absolute.  Agriculture software development based on the blockchain technology allows farmers to gather all the data at a single place so that they can access it in one-go whenever and wherever required. It has simplified the entire process and saves the energy and time of the farmers. For instance, they can set their future goals, keep track of them, and how to reach them. They can track the different crop varieties, incomes, and expenses. 

4. Fairer Price

We can say; Currently, there are many issues in agri-business, which makes it difficult for the farmers to get paid for whatever they produce. Problems like weather conditions, inelastic demand, supply, and state of the world market all contribute to the fact that most of the profits by selling the agricultural products straight into the wallets of intermediaries and retailers. Whereas, the incomes of the farmers and producers is low. And we can not deny the fact that at times it takes a week or longer for farmers to receive the payment for the goods they produce. The blockchain technology in agriculture triggers the payment for the farmers automatically, as soon as the specific conditions have been fulfilled by the buyers. Additionally, the farmers could receive the full payment for the goods they produce, without being delayed and without a significant amount being taken from them. Blockchain Technology reduces the number of intermediaries and helps farmers enter into a contract directly with the retailers. It brings transparency and blockchain-based platforms, allows farmers to create international trade unions to protect their rights. 

5. Improving Supply Chains

According to a study, the adaption of any technology in agriculture results in a correlative increase in the farmer’s profitability. Monitoring processes linked with agricultural shipping and decentralized blockchain ledgers adds value to the agricultural products, machinery, crops, which can be traced by the recipient to prove quality and therefore offers more significant value. With the help of blockchain technology, farmers can bolster their revenues and ensure their full participation in the supply chain. Since the blockchain in the agriculture supply chain can quickly bring transparency in the supply chain ecosystem, the role of the blockchain for the agricultural supply chain is significant. Blockchain helps farmers to store the data to ensure the compliance has been met at every stage of the supply chain.  Companies are trying to solve this like Ripe- Trying to enhance the visibility for the food supply chain. And Origin Trail, working on blockchain-driven provenance solution. Ambrosus is an IoT platform on the blockchain for supply chain solutions.

6. Weather Crisis Control

Undoubtedly there are unpredictable weather control conditions, therefore monitoring these conditions is essential for better crop survival. For instance, Crops grown in the US can not handle floods, and excessive spring rains, therefore it leads to zero oxygen concentration level, which is difficult for the plants to survive and perform functions, like water uptake or root growth. And if there’s any lack of transparency in the food supply chain, then the market has to suffer high surge pricing. So, the farmers and other stakeholders are never able to understand why crops are facing such lousy weather conditions and what led to increased costs. The blockchain offers traceability and transparency, making it easy for the farmers to track the weather conditions and price-related information. And with the help of the smart contracts, the farmers can quickly request and claim the crop insurance. The agricultural weather stations can easily send essential information to the blockchain. Moreover, farmers can take preventive actions on time. 

7. Managing Agricultural Finance

Many times, it happens that there’s a lack of transparency in the payment and credit histories, as well as difficulties in contract enforcement, are some of the issues faced by smallholders and the formal financial inclusion. The inability to access financial services can always have an adverse effect on the performance of the agricultural supply chains because of which the producers are not able to maximize their yields and the buyers are not able to pay to the farmers, smallholders are unable to sell their crops at a bit lower prices. The blockchain technology provides transparency and makes the agricultural finance fairer. It makes the agricultural finance process way more accessible. 

8. Upgrading Farm Management Software

According to a report, the global farm management software market is expected to reach $4.22 billion by 2025. Additionally, a 50% growth in demand for agricultural products is expected by the year 2050. Basically, the FMS represents the critical areas of yield enhancement. The blockchain-Centered FMS promises to slice the cost between the agricultural suppliers, by offering efficient real-time monitoring of machines and crops. The blockchain, in combination with AI in agricultural operations, allows farmers a higher level of prominence and differentiates them from their competitors. 

The growth would impact three factors:

  1. The water scarcity in the arid regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia
  2. The increasing population in Africa would cause an increase in demand for food 
  3. Development of new technologies 

Once the farmers integrate the RFID tags into their agricultural business, i,e. Collect environmental and location-based data, drones, and AI; they would understand the need for an operating environment to manage all this efficiently. The FMS provides all the needful data to all the parties, ensures the security of the system and data gathered. For instance, AgriDigital is an Australian cloud-based platform for agricultural product management and has reduced the process of documentation to one-fifth of standard time. 

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The Future of Blockchain in Agriculture

Even after the above-mentioned benefits offered by blockchain technology in agriculture, the industry needs to do a lot of work to build and to maintain the trust of the consumers. Indeed, there’s a long way to go before its application is developed and put into practice. However, the blockchain has opened a door for opportunities in the industry and has millions and billions of people involved in the particular sector. The blockchain-based agricultural solution has a lot of promise for the agriculture business industry and adds value to it. Agriculture software development based on the blockchain technology allows farmers to gather all the data at a single place so that they can easily access it whenever required. It has simplified the entire process and saves the energy and time of the farmers.