Chain Business Insights publishes new eBook on blockchain in smallholder farming
Research indicates that blockchain technology could help alleviate poverty and world hunger
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Chain Business Insights, an independent research firm focused on the application of blockchain in supply chain management and trade finance, has published a new eBook titled Blockchain in Smallholder Farming: Sowing the Seeds of Growth. According to the research, blockchain combined with agricultural technologies such as precision farming could help improve productivity significantly, lift millions of smallholder farmers out of poverty and bolster the world’s food supply.
Population growth, climate change and geopolitical unrest are putting pressure on food production – a significant amount of which comes from small farms, especially in developing countries. At the same time, smallholder farmers are challenged by rampant corruption in the supply chain, and do not have access to adequate finance and insurance and hence the resources needed to improve yields. Blockchain could support new business models that help smallholders to overcome these barriers, adapt to changing climate and the resultant shift in production patterns, improve efficiency and gain access to world agricultural markets.
“Blockchain could help to improve trust and transparency in the supply chain, and give smallholder farmers access to critical market data,”explains Ken Cottrill, Co-founder and Research Principal at Chain Business Insights. “In addition, it could enable them to grow crops that are in high demand such as organic and gluten-free foods, and improve the environmental sustainability of their operations.”
Driven by the substantial global business opportunity, several vendors are targeting blockchain-based innovations in smallholder farming. Blockchain in Smallholder Farming: Sowing the Seeds of Growth contains case studies about the use of the technology in growing cocoa beans in New Guinea and Indonesia as well as cotton in Haiti. The eBook references potential use cases including coffee and wheat produced in Kenya, and rice produced in Viet Nam. It also includes profiles of companies that are already engaged in proof of concept projects in this sector, including in microfinance. Some of this work will likely come to fruition over the next year, but the widespread adoption of blockchain in smallholder farming is further away.
Blockchain in Smallholder Farming: Sowing the Seeds of Growth offers a snapshot of blockchain’s potential, and the broader implications for global agribusiness. These insights should be of interest to stakeholders across agricultural supply chains. Among them are farm organizations, food manufacturers and retailers, providers of services and farm inputs (substances for controlling crop pests and fertilizing soil), transportation and logistics companies, government agencies and NGOs.
“As blockchain moves out of the hype phase, it appears that many successful smallholder applications will employ elements of the technology, target specific problems and capture value in small-scale farming,” Cottrill concludes. “Blockchain’s potential in this sector could blossom when it is combined with other technologies such as mobile networks, IoT sensing and advanced analytics.”
The eBook is available via Amazon, iBooks and other online eBook retailers.
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