Blockchain in the Agriculture and Food Industry - PerfectionGeeks
Blockchain Impact on Future Agriculture and Food Industry
May 05, 2022 2:00 PM
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Blockchain in the Agriculture and Food Industry - PerfectionGeeks
May 05, 2022 2:00 PM
The COVID-19 pandemic caused global food supply chain failures. This led to calls for improved food production, distribution, and consumption efficiency. What technologies, such as blockchain, that can provide data to consumers, distributors, and producers could be part of the solution to this problem?
Big data applications could offer opportunities to reduce inefficiencies from farm to table and increase global food security.
Blockchain is a linked, decentralized database that stores auditable information throughout supply chains. This could change the game for food producers around the world.
Global-scale food systems like seafood are traded worldwide at nearly 40%. Data transparency and traceability via technologies such as blockchain are important to ensure social and environmental sustainability and trust between stakeholders.
A blockchain is, in simple terms, a digital distributed ledger that is maintained by multiple computing machines. It stores data as blocks, which are cryptographically secure and immutable. Satoshi Nakamoto, or a group of people who use the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, created the blockchain. It was first reported in 2008. Since then, it has been very popular with the 'IT geeks span.
No one server stores all information, unlike the internet. These data are stored as copies on different computers (called nodes) and there is no central authority that oversees them. These computers can be connected to the blockchain network. Blockchain is also known for its distributed copies (transactions) of data.
It is important not to confuse trustless with "not trustworthy". Blockchain creates a transparent environment where trust can be increased or mediated between the two parties to a transaction.
This should not be misinterpreted to mean that it is a violation of privacy. Complex cryptography hides the identity of all parties to a transaction and is represented only by their public addresses (code). Although the identities are secure, transactions carried out through public addresses are easily accessible. This transparency increases trust in the system and protects privacy.
Blockchain data cannot be altered or tampered with shortly. Blockchain's immutability has made it so popular that many sectors are now exploring it.
Blockchain technology can be used to consolidate information about the quality of seed, track crop growth and record its journey once it leaves the farm. Grain Discovery, an online marketplace that uses blockchain technology to track and record the journey of crops once they leave the farm, is one example of how data can be leveraged by those in the food industry to produce and market competitive crops.
These data can improve transparency in supply chains through the provision of immutable records, from production to consumption. These data can facilitate information transfer at every stage of the supply chain. Blockchains can be used to prevent the distribution of illegal or unethical products and services that could harm sustainability and community food security.
Transparency also allows consumers to make informed decisions about protecting vulnerable producers and the environment. Consumers may have access to product data to be able to reward producers that use good practices, such as rural smallholder farmers or fishermen who are among the most vulnerable to food insecurity.
There is currently little evidence to support the claims that blockchain and big-data technologies contribute to global food security. Global food security has not seen significant improvements even though an average farm will generate 4.1 million data points by 2050, compared to 190,000 data points in 2014.
The challenge lies in the way blockchains were implemented up to now. Food security could be compromised by corporate control over blockchains and other big data platforms.
IBM and Walmart, for example, have joined forces to track produce from farm to fork. For the process to be transparent to consumers, producers and processors in the supply chain must input data into IBM's Blockchain.
IBM's definition is not perfect. Privately owned blockchains are easier to manipulate and less secure. Private blockchain security is still dependent on the permissions and controls that private organizations have set.
Corporate-owned, central databases of information don't meet the traditional definition of blockchain. This is because they are based on trust and democracy.
Traditional blockchains are decentralized and democratized to increase trust among users. Small-scale farmers who lack the necessary size, scale, or technological know-how could be excluded from supply chain information due to corporate control. Global food insecurity can be caused by the division between large and smaller food producers. Many researchers believe that both small and large farms are necessary to feed the growing world population.
Before data technologies like blockchain can address food security, there are many challenges.
The implementation of blockchains should be decentralized to be accessible to small farmers and rural residents. This will allow for sustainable and equitable food systems, and consumers can make informed decisions.
But, blockchains place an additional responsibility on end-users. This could lead to challenges like limited digital literacy among the poor world and infrastructure limitations that may hinder true decentralization.
They must also be integrated into broader food security promotion strategies to make sure they are sensitive to environmental and social values that are critical for tackling food insecurity among different groups.
Big data can be harnessed through transparent, decentralized food distribution systems. This could help to ensure sustainable food production as well as provide accountability for food production.
This is essential for food security and efficient food systems in the future. These innovations must be used fairly so that all parties in the value chain can benefit.
Blockchain Agriculture is the next disruptive technology and is being studied in many business sectors, applications, and processes. This includes digital authentication and secure storage of administrative records. It is used to strengthen intellectual property rights, and patent systems, and to bring transparency through the supply chain.
Blockchain has proven to be an unrivaled authority in the financial industry, and now it is being explored by the food industry. It is still in its early stages and may require more research and time to become a part of blockchain in the food industry.
A block is a collection of information or data that each participant has provided. The block is verified by thousands or even millions of computers scattered around the blockchain network. The verified block is added into a chain which is then stored in multiple copies all over the internet. This creates a unique record with a unique history. Modifying one record would require modification of the entire chain, as well as millions of computers (nodes), making it practically impossible.
The cryptographic hash function is responsible for this unique property of blockchain. Simply put, hashing is the process of converting input data (information) from any length into a fixed-length coded output. Even a tiny change in input can have a huge impact on the hash.
Each block in the blockchain (information/inputs) is linked to another block that contains data and a hash. Any data change at any stage/block can drastically alter the hash, causing an avalanche effect that disrupts the entire blockchain. It can be correlated with a genetic mutation. Point mutation is a single nucleotide change that can alter the entire genetic makeup. The entire blockchain could be affected by a slight information change, and these copies are stored in as many as possible.
When blockchain is integrated with the most recent technologies for data capture, it has enormous potential in the food sector. We can revolutionize the food industry by combining the strengths of blockchain with the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT solutions connect the digital and physical worlds by capturing data such as temperature and humidity during transport or storage. Blockchain is a secure platform that can store and retrieve this data for all participants in the supply chain.
Juniper Research's latest report, Key Vertical Opportunities, Trends, and Challenges 2019-2030, shows that blockchain will be a great tool for IoT trackers and sensors. These include:
According to the 2018 policy document by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, blockchain could transform the Indian food supply chain. According to the policy paper, blockchain technology can be used to create an immutable contract among the different players in the supply chain, which will allow for greater transparency.
Smart contracts can decrease the number of intermediaries within the supply chain network. Smart contracts can lower transaction costs, increase margins, increase efficiency, and transfer large amounts of profits to the farmer/producer.
Numerous IT giants have created different blockchain platforms and solutions for the food industry. Some examples are the IBM Food Trust and Watson platforms, Track and Trace and Leonardo platforms, and SAP Track and Trace.
We have collected a variety of examples from various food industries in which blockchain has been used or is planned to be used on a pilot scale to increase transparency and consumer trust in supply chains.
Blockchain technology has many benefits. We can create a transparent supply chain for food, reduce fraud, and increase consumer trust if we use it in conjunction with the IoT.
Many companies are already using this technology to test it. These trials will help further develop the technology and make it more economically feasible for food processors. Food processors, government officials, supply chain participants, and IT experts must all work together to create a comprehensive plan for implementing Blockchain Technology.
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