Continuing our series this week on industries that are either currently benefiting from blockchain or are looking into the possibilities, today we’re plowing our way into agriculture.
Long considered an industry with few aspects that aren’t long overdue for a revamp, blockchain is already being utilized for real-time data on crop quality and many believe that it may be the answer for the entire agricultural supply chain.
A decentralized ledger could provide real-time communication between all involved in the supply chain. Whether it’s used to accurately clock the hours of machine usage for better maintenance, schedule more efficient harvest times, identify inefficiencies, or automatically place orders based on available stock, blockchain could make a huge and welcome difference for the industry.
Consider the farmer that is not only updated with real-time data about his crops, but has more intelligent tracking of his products as they make their way from the field, to the warehouse, to the store shelf, and even possibly rewards him with microtransactions via smart contracts whenever his products are sold. In this manner alone, blockchain technology and smart contracts could provide more consistency within several key areas of agriculture.
Using blockchain could also be used for food provenance and commodity tracking, as well as better revenue for farmers, growers, and producers in developing countries by ensuring that their products are entering supply chains with demographics that are willing to pay top dollar.
Other possible use cases for blockchain and agriculture:
- AgTech IoT Optimization
- Fair Pricing
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Subsidies Oversight
- Modernizing Farm Management Software
- Incentivizing Sustainable Practices
- Mobile Remittance for Small Farmers
- Greater Accountability for Multinationals
As with other industries we’ve looked at so far, there are several players already exploring the possibilities:
- Origin Train — Provenance solutions via blockchain.
- Ripe — Improving the visibility of food supply chains.
- Ambrosus — Blockchain powered supply chain solutions.
- EthicHub — Microloans and crowdfunding assistance for small farms.
- Lokaal — Microloans, crowdfunding assistance, and payments for small and local farms.
- AgriDigital — A grain industry commodity management platform.
In 2017, the farm management software (FMS) market was $1.5 billion and with an annual growth rate of 7.6% projected between 2017 and 2021 and the continued widespread adoption of blockchain, FMS and the industry as a whole could likely benefit greatly from blockchain utilization.