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Is Blockchain Technology (BCT) relevant in food and agriculture?

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A recent study on blockchain for Food and Agriculture by GODAN partners TNO and Wageningen UR explored the use of blockchain technology (BCT). The study was conducted amidst the growth of bitcon and other crypto currencies and their acceptance in many other fields.

In comparison, blockchain technology is believed by some to have a much wider application also within food and agriculture. For example 'bitcoin-derived applications have improved mobile payments, and credit and supply chain transaction administration, blockchain in agriculture and food is believed to have potential fpr impact through increased provenance and radical transparency' (Ben Schaap, GODAN).

Image credit: JavaCoin News

The aforementioned study, documents experiences and findings from the public private partnerships (PPP) project "Blockchain for Agrifood" that was started in March 2017. The project's aim was to contribute to a better understanding of blockchain technology and its implications for agrifood - focusing on the impact to supply chains and what is needed to apply blockchain technology in agrifood chains. The project further sought to conceptualise and develop a proof of concept in the application of block chain technology in South Africa  - by using a table of grapes where BCT could be applied.

The following policy recommendations were made:-

  • Facilitate and encourage the growth of the ecosystem of blockchain-minded parties in agrifood chains;
  • Support and stimulate blockchain as part of the digitalisation strategy to improve transparency,efficiency, competitiveness and sustainability of the agrifood sector;
  • Design a clear regulatory framework for blockchain implementations;
  • Provide government investment in research and innovation so as to develop the evidence for the added value of the technology.

Read more about the results of the study here

Read also a similar blog here


 

Citation: Ge, Lan, Christopher Brewster, Jacco Spek, Anton Smeenk, and Jan Top, 2017. Blockchain for Agriculture and Food; Findings from the pilot study. Wageningen, Wageningen Economic Research, Report 2017-112. 34 pp.; 4 fig.; 2 tab.; 18 ref.

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