This article throws light upon the challenges faced by the Agri-food businesses around the globe especially in the developing and underdeveloped economies and how Blockchain technology is the road ahead for overcoming challenges of the industry from farm to fork.
Originally, the processing of raw materials and the storing of perishable commodities used for food preparation was carried on a family or artisan scale. However, it was only after the industrial revolution when agri-food came into existence. Today, the agri-food industry is situated at the center of a very important economic complex that we call the “food system”, the purpose of which is to feed populations, mostly through a system of market relationships (Source: Rastoin and Ghersi, 2010).
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It is one of the most crucial sectors for global economic growth ,accounting for one third of the global GDP and employing about 30% of the global workforce
With the change in consumer preferences and increasing health and safety consciousness, the current demands of the agri-food industry is increasing. World agriculture is facing numerous challenges and the agri-food industry must:
- Improve efficiency by reducing supply chain costs.
- Adjust to the ever-changing needs of consumers from cereal-based to animal, fruit and vegetable products.
- Raise farmers’ income and thereby preventing their exploitation.
- Adopt and promote sustainable agricultural practices.
- Meet high-quality food and farming standards.
Challenges of Agri-food Supply Chain
The food industry is highly adulterated and millions of lives are lost every year.
When it comes to its supply chain connectivity and transparency, it is far from being perfect. It is estimated that the cost of the operating supply chain, makes up two-thirds of the final cost of goods, while 7% of the global value of trade is absorbed by the costs of documents alone (Niforos 2017). Agriculture supply chains have substantial inefficiencies and every player suffers a lot, starting from the farmers to the consumers.
The agriculture supply chain is complex, opaque and dogged by many challenges:
- It incurs a lot of risk because it depends on difficult-to-control factors(weather, pests and diseases).
- It lacks traceability of produce because of technological backwardness and unorganized nature.
- The settlement of transaction is very slow and often labor-intensive.
- Involvement of many middlemen or intermediaries leads to exploitation of the farmers.
- Increased food adulteration which leads to deaths and diseases.
The Way Ahead
Both private and public sectors are looking for ways to improve efficiency and reducing the high cost of moving goods along their supply chain. The use of IoT, AI and cloud computing are making the supply chain digitized. However, The Decentralized ledger technology (DLT) or Blockchain Technology has the greatest potential to make the agri-food supply chain completely transparent thereby improving efficiency and providing operational excellence by saving billions of dollars.
In a majority of countries, the agri-food industry is primarily the largest subsection of the manufacturing industries, representing 10% to 30% of this sector.
Blockchain ensures improved efficiency and increased customer loyalty by helping in the following ways:
- Providing Traceability and Transparency:
The decentralized technology provides perfect real-time tracking of the produce from farm to fork -with the help of IoT. This provides legal accountability of the counterfeit products or any fraudulent behavior in any of the processes along the agri-food supply chain. The tracking of the authenticity of the products ensures customer loyalty and trust.
QR codes, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, NFC sensors, crypto-anchors are the most promising devices which are used for tracking of the produce.
2. Ensuring Food Safety
Since immutable data is available across the supply chain, the companies are bound to meet the prescribed safety and quality standards. Data on the Quality (freshness, protection, geographical indications), safety (health, risk management) and sustainability (organic, fair trade) are available. Blockchain helps agencies and the government easily, confidentially issue export certifications which otherwise takes months. In case of an outbreak of an animal or plant disease, contaminated agri-food products or food fraud, Blockchain enables businesses and regulators to trace or pinpoint contaminated or fraudulent products more quickly and less wastefully.
3. Improving the efficiency of trade finance
The current method of trade finance is labor-intensive and the slow and costly processes of the financial institutions accounts for a lot of inefficiencies. Transactions include multiple copies of agreements between the shipper’s banks and receiver’s banks, as well as agreements on the value of the shipment and its loading procedures.
The lengthy intervals of price settlements delays the delivery and lock up billions of dollars. Blockchain era uses smart contracts to auto-execute the agreement of bills in real-time, by first valuing the transport, then verifying the consumer has sufficient funds and ultimately securing the budget in the customer’s pending delivery. Once the physical shipping is made, ownership for the grain is transferred to the buyer as the payment is concurrently settled from the reserved funds(Source: Fintech Australia, 2016). This eliminates the counterparty risk and frees up the working capital.
4.Driving agriculture insurance:
Talk about the most complex insurance, Agriculture insurance is the first in the list — because of illiteracy and its dependence on the natural factors.
In most of the countries, most of the farmers do not have access to the insurance policies and the farmers which already have the access, the policies are paper-intensive, rely on the manual labor to verify the claims which ultimately increases the cost and takes a lot of time to get the sum assured. Blockchain along with IoT can completely digitize the insurance process and make it easier and faster.
At the right time, some international players in the food industry upgrade their standards and increasing trust with consumers, have adopted blockchain technology. There are so many names like Neogen Corporation, which is a $3.75 B company have taken this technology to scale businesses, and there are so many development companies that can provide you a solution to your business. QuillTrace offers a full packed supply chain management platform backed by blockchain, helps you to increase your business revenue and build customer loyalty.
Get to know more about QuillTrace in the shared link below:
Feel free to request a Demo for a better understanding of QuillTrace and how it could benefit from your existing system
Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Bets Big on the Future of Cardano and Polkadot
Anthony Di Iorio, a Canadian entrepreneur and the co-founder of leading smart contract platform Ethereum, said that he believes in the potential of Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT).
In an interview with crypto proponent Anthony Pompliano, Di Iorio, who is also the CEO and founder of Canadian blockchain startup Decentral and crypto wallet Jaxx, revealed that he has a diversified investment portfolio featuring several top projects, including Cardano and Polkadot.
A Big Fan of Cardano and Polkadot
“Now I’ve kind of fallen back to just simplicity. I’m in a number of different projects, but the majority of my stuff is in the top projects. I’m a big fan of Polkadot, I’m a big fan of Cardano.”
Di Iorio went on to narrate why he was so sure of the future of these two projects. He had joined the Ethereum development team earlier in 2012 when he met Vitalik Buterin at a Bitcoin conference.
He has formed strong relationships with other co-founders of Ethereum, including Vitalik Buterin, Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson, and Polkadot’s current CEO Gavin Wood.
Di Iorio admitted that while he worked with these men, he knew that they were goal-oriented and would help push these projects further.
“Big fan of Charles, let’s say that. You know, taking some different approaches in the way that they’re doing things, much more on the academic side of what he’s done and bringing stuff forward. Real big fan of Gavin Wood… Knowing those guys from the days back at Ethereum – and knowing their drive and knowing their competitiveness and their smarts – I was able to see those projects for the last few years and know that they were gonna get to where they’ve gotten up to.”
Not Getting Lost in DeFi
Despite all the recent hype about DeFi, Di lorio pointed out that he is keeping his investments simple and investing in larger projects.
“Most of my stuff is in the top few things, Ether, Bitcoin, Cardano, Polkadot. I like Cosmos as well. And there’s a few others, but I’m not getting lost in all the DeFi stuff. I just think there’s not enough time, not enough energy. It’s a full-time gig to be running a lot of that stuff and keeping on top of stuff, so I’ve simplified my life quite a bit over the past few years.”
Featured image courtesy of Business Insider
Large, Luxury Penthouse in Miami Sells for $22 Million in Crypto
One of America’s most luxurious penthouses just sold for more than $22 million – and the deal was completely finalized through cryptocurrency. The home consists of four bedrooms and is located within a condo building known as Arte by Antonio Citterio, which is situated in Miami Beach, Florida and designed by real estate developers Alex Sapir and Giovanni Fasciano.
Miami Real Estate and Crypto… A Perfect Match?
While crypto-real estate deals have been occurring over the past seven years, they are not common in any way, shape, or form. Typically, in America, all deals close through USD, but both Sapir and Fasciano expressed their excitement over the event and said in a recent interview that they always felt real estate and crypto went hand in hand… It was just a matter of time before people realized that, and as a result, they have consistently been open to homebuyers looking to pay their way with digital currency.
Sapir explains that there were several offers made on the residence, many of which would have also been done with crypto. He explained:
There is a strong, pent-up demand for cryptocurrency transactions that are seamless and secure for both parties, and the deal at Arte is a prime example of that. We were overwhelmed by the amount of calls we received from qualified buyers just after announcing our ability to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. Real-world crypto transactions have not made their way fully into the mainstream yet, so it is quite clear top holders around the world pay attention when new opportunities to transact open up.
Fasciano says that with this sale, he has no doubt Miami could become a leader in crypto-based real estate sales, and he is hopeful that this will attract more digital investors to the housing mix. He says:
We are making Miami real estate history with this sale, as we were the first new development to facilitate this kind of cryptocurrency transaction, and to do so successfully so quickly after announcing. Cryptocurrency is the future of wealth, and we believe this is only the beginning. Arte has set the precedent for what these sales can look like and how fast they can take place. We are proud to have laid the groundwork for this new, burgeoning world.
Why Crypto Works Well
Sapir further stated what it was that inspired them both to accept crypto in the first place:
When we first set out to develop a boutique, resort-style oceanfront condominium for only 16 owners, no one had ever heard of anything so luxe and at such a small scale in Miami. It did not deter us, and we wanted to get ahead of a future world where half the world’s billionaires could have easily made their wealth from cryptocurrency. The quick sale of the Lower Penthouse at $22.5 million proves the success of the concept.
Ripple execs file new motion – What does it mean for their XRP sales contention?
The ongoing lawsuit filed by the SEC against Ripple Labs and its execs is showing no signs of slowing down or ending anytime soon. Ripple’s latest defense now challenges the SEC’s jurisdictional authority over the exchanges that Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen sold XRP to. As a matter of fact, the SEC, in its amended complaint, sought disgorgement for the two billion units of XRP sold by the execs on digital asset trading platforms located outside the U.S.
The individual defendants in the case have filed a motion seeking the court’s approval to request documents from over a dozen digital currency exchanges located “all over the world.” By doing so, the defendants want to establish that the XRP sales they made were beyond the jurisdiction of the regulatory agency. The individual defendants also argued in their motion that Section 5 of the Securities Act only applies to “domestic” sales and offers of securities.
Justifying the ultimate reason behind their international discovery request, their motion noted,
“The evidence to be obtained from the digital asset trading platforms is probative of the issue whether “irrevocable liability” was incurred outside the US with respect to these transactions.”
The third parties in question here include prominent exchange platforms like Upbit, Korbit, Huobi, Coinone, and Bitstamp. Additionally, the defendants’ letter stated,
“We understand that the Plaintiff, the Securities and Exchange Commission, does not object to this motion.”
With this motion, the defendants have requested the court to issue the attached letters of request for international judicial assistance and compel the aforementioned entities to produce documents. Here, it should be noted that the Court has the authority to request any competent authority of another state to obtain evidence. This motion is quite important for the defendants because it has the potential to provide them with concrete evidence before the close of fact discovery.
The Letters of Request to the entities seeks the assistance of the Central Authorities of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, the U.K, Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Malta, and Northern Ireland to obtain documents relevant to the case that are otherwise unobtainable through other means from the entities.
“The Individual Defendants seek foreign discovery on the basis of their good faith belief that the listed entities possess unique documents and information concerning this case.”
According to the aforementioned motion, the entities could potentially produce evidence that specifically dealt with the transactions of XRP on their respective foreign digital trading platforms.
“There is good cause for the Court to issue the Letters of Request. The information sought in the document requests is narrowly tailored to obtain relevant information related to the case.”
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