4 Forward-Looking Use Cases For Blockchain In Agriculture
We are what we eat. This old proverb remains topical to this very day. That is why it is very important for us all to buy high-quality food that is fresh, not spoilt, and free of different deleterious bacteria. Food suppliers also want to purchase food from proven farms, especially if we speak about meat, fruits, and vegetables. It was rather difficult before to track the way how products go from farm to the market, but today blockchain revolutionizes almost all industries including the agricultural sector.
How blockchain modifies agriculture and why the right software development can help both consumers and farmers? This article will show you.
How blockchain in agriculture works
Blockchain potential in agriculture
Blockchain technology provides all users with efficient data protection, transparent and secure data exchange. All information written in blockchain cannot be changed, and it's storage is decentralized. All these properties make blockchain technology the best tool for encrypted information transfer.
Learn more about blockchain technology. Read Blockchain solutions: a new way to accelerate your business processes
Blockchain is famous for it's cryptocurrency, but the real potential of blockchain is much bigger. First, it is quick and efficient confirmation of transactions. Banks have already started integrating blockchain technologies and their efficiency is undisputed. Now, any agricultural company that needs to perform letter of credit via the bank can start using blockchain technology. Using conventional ways, the process of documents verification and procedure confirmation takes up to 1 week. At the same time, when blockchain is applied, the whole procedure of L/C performance will take up to 4 hours.
How blockchain modifies agriculture
What is blockchain in agriculture? As experience shows, the use of blockchain technologies can significantly accelerate and simplify the decision-making process concerning funding of agricultural projects, and it will have a positive impact on competitive ability and development of agriculture accordingly. As you can see in the picture below, blockchain makes it possible to control all the important activities in agriculture. Using blockchain, agriculture field can be changed once and for all.
The development of the world agricultural market is determined by two groups of factor:
- population growth and the growth of demand for food;
- the growth in demand for high-quality organic products.
The provision of food for a growing population requires the solution of two main challenges:
#1. The organization of efficient logistics and purchases funding; #2. Food quality control and prevention of food adulteration.
Blockchain technology is a very good option to solve all the issues shown above. A unified transparent environment for data exchange makes it possible for specialists to arrange supply chain wisely - establish contacts between suppliers, carriers, customers. It is a very acute issue for food products that have a short expiry date. Integration of blockchain technologies into the agricultural sector will solve very big problems for all farmers - it will simplify the process of goods sale and all intermediaries will be eliminated from this chain.
Blockchain may be used in the certification of manufacturing and food processing, and it will protect the conscientious supplier. Also, blockchain becomes cheaper and more reliable than conventional certification systems. After a farmer enters all information about his/her product into the system, nobody can change it or replicate. It is impossible to sell one piece of meat with two identical digital certifications, a system will detect counterfeit.
Blockchain benefits in agriculture
As you can see, the potential of blockchain for agriculture and food is really big. So now we will single out the main advantages of modern technology in agriculture and how they will enrich this industry.
Advantages of blockchain in agricultural field
Consumers want to know the origin of food and they even can pay additionally to find out all detailed information about the product. They can see certification, however, conventional certification can be falsified. But blockchain will make it impossible to change any record secretly, date and content will remain unchanged. Label with QR code will provide a consumer with all information about food - when poultry was born, what conditions it lived in, what diseases it had, when it was slaughtered, how much time it is stored in a shop and so on. All product history will be shown on a consumer’s smartphone. Sanitary authorities will also have a better control over all products.
See what influence smart technologies have on farming. Read How can technology change farming?
As information recorded in blockchain cannot be changed and it is visible to everyone, blockchain will allow one side to protect itself from fraudulent actions and cheating. Unstipulated price reduction or increase will be impossible as well as any other machinations. The only thing you need is to find a reliable software development company with a good reputation that will make all correct records into your blockchain smart contracts and it will not let you down.
Small farms will be able to attract more investments for their business. And here ICO comes to the rescue. Initial Coin Offering is a new way to attract investments and it is a so-called cryptocurrency crowdfunding. It is a good option for small business types at early stages. Although ICO is not regulated by government in many countries and farmers will need to convince people to invest in their business, they don’t need to spend money on lawyers’ services and other related legal issues.
Farmers supply their products and they don’t need to wait for the payment for months, as it was before. Smart contracts are written in the form of code, and when specific terms should be implemented, they are fulfilled automatically. That is, farmers fulfill their obligations, they supply products and they receive money immediately. No intermediaries and additional costs, and there is a guarantee of all obligations fulfillment. Cleveroad has enough experience in smart contract development and we can build the one that will meet all your needs.
Blockchain in agriculture market is also represented now on stock exchanges as well. Stock exchanges remain the same but they get all the advantages of blockchain. How can farmers benefit from it? Farmers can trade futures contracts where the price for grain, animals or vegetables is fixed and it will remain fixed in future. Thus, a farmer will get it's indicated cost, and a buyer will be immune from price fluctuations.
Everybody knows Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Today it is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world. But there is another cryptocurrency called PavoCoin that was developed specifically for the agricultural sector. It is used internally for farmers and it shows a big potential. More about this project you can read below.
4 blockchain use cases in agriculture
Of course, with the development of blockchain, the number of possible benefits will grow in the future. Well, how about ways of blockchain application in agriculture? How farmers and consumer can make use of it? Let’s consider everything in detail.
How blockchain can be used in agriculture
Tracking food origin and it's safety
When you buy an apple or chicken in a supermarket, can you say with confidence that this food is safe? Despite the fact that store representatives should have all relevant documents and certifications, you cannot see how it was stored before and whether it contains any deleterious bacteria or not. So blockchain can help consumers find out everything about each product.
It is impossible for store management to identify one infected product, so they need to see the history of origin. Blockchain-based software will keep all records, starting from where and when this apple or beef was born, how it was feed, where it was sent after ripening and so on. Thus, both consumers and contractors will know everything about food, and it will increase their trust and they will know what exactly they eat.
Successful example: Walmart corporation is collaborating with IBM for building blockchain agriculture supply chain. Specialists can scan each product in a store and see a detailed information about it. Everything is transparent and clear for all parties.
Making preventions from possible raw material adulteration
Farmers also should know that they buy high-quality grain, seeds and compound feedstuff to breed healthy animals and juicy fruits and vegetables. But the authenticity of all raw materials is not confirmed. So blockchain plays it's important role. If farmers will sell meat and crops of improper quality, it will have a negative impact both on farmer and consumer. Using blockchain, farmers will see what raw material they are going to buy, all possible black spots and so on.
Find out how IoT can be used in agriculture. Read A deep dive into IoT in agriculture: use cases, projects, peculiarities, and more
Farmers will be able to provide consumers with good products, and they will earn trust and good reputation along with high and stable profit.
Decentralization of companies
Large companies around the world occupy the agricultural niche and they can dictate their terms, set prices and agree with farmers what exactly farmers will grow and breed next season. It was unprofitable for farmers to impose their conditions since they had more dependency on large corporations. But blockchain in farming can change it once and for all.
Do you want to know about blockchain capabilities more? Watch our video below:
Real-Life Application of Blockchains in Business
Small companies can also become a serious player in the agricultural market. A small company can buy a farm share and a farmer will supply product only to them during the season. As for benefit for a farmer - he/she will have a stable work and funding, as for consumers - they will have high-quality products each season at a reasonable price. Farmer and consumer will create a smart contract where all necessary terms will be agreed. No expensive intermediaries and additional services.
Proper quality control using the Internet of Things
Monitoring the quality of animals and crops is also a very important process for all farmers and here the Internet of Things can help and make it's contribution. Irrigation amount, soil quality, the number of deleterious pests, the number of cow heads and so on can be monitored using the connection between special sensors and appropriate software installed on tablets or smartphones.
What about blockchain? All this data can be stored in blockchain, and information about animals breeding process and crops cultivation from the beginning to the end will be available for consumers. Sensors send all data automatically to the cloud where everything is kept in blockchain. Keep in mind that apart from hardware you need to have an agricultural software, and you can study our experience in the fishery, crops cultivation, and cattle breeding.
Agriculture blockchain startups
Finally, what about successful projects that used blockchain technology in agriculture? Check out some examples.
San-Francisco-based startup that was born in 2017 is oriented directly on the agricultural sector. It provides consumers with a high level of transparency, and this service helps track products from field to store shelves. Ripe.io system detects humidity, ripeness, and temperature of products. A farmer can track the route of their products, adjust the system of delivery and harvesting on the basis data received. Also, a farmer will always know the condition of products at the destination.
Ripe.io agricultural startup
This is Australia-based SaaS solution that helps improve and stabilize the grain supply chain. The service helps create smart contracts and track the logistics process to show each detail. Also, farmers can register all data about fertilizers and compound feedstuff they receive to calculate the potential output.
AgriChain agricultural startup
Pavo is the US-based large company that has subsidiaries in many countries. And the company created PavoCoin system that helps farmers monitor the process of crops cultivation as well as gathering, processing, and distribution. All data is stored on blockchain that ensures security and legitimacy. Farmers can monitor all sensors, gather information and then this information will be fixed and filtered. Due to blockchain technology, the whole process can be easily monitored.
PavoCoin large agricultural startup
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So, we can draw the line. I am sure you are satisfied with our detailed article and you already think about the development of blockchain-based software that will let you upgrade your farming process and multiply your revenue. Am I right? Anyway, you need to contact us if you have any questions, our specialists will help you find the right solution. Subscribe to our blog - just click the button on the right side!