Opportunities of blockchain for agriculture
This Brussels briefing (PDF) by CTA provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges in adopting the blockchain technology in agriculture and the agrifood industry across several sectors and looks at best practices and successful applications of the blockchain technology of interest to the African, Carribean and Pacific countries. Business transactions in agriculture have been transformed by the digitisation of the value chain. Blockchain can bring together different parties that have not directly established trusted relationships with one another through the transparency it provides and its tamper-evident nature. While blockchain solutions in production are still relatively limited globally, it’s clear that there’s greater interest in—and a better understanding of—blockchain and its benefits. Multiple proofs of concepts are completed already or are in progress, and some solutions are already in or close to production release. However, there are still some challenges and limitations to a wide adoption of blockchain : 1) A lack of common understanding among policy makers, technical experts and value chain actors on the use of blockchain technology; 2) Insufficient investment in research and innovation, as well as in education and training by the government; 3) Mass adoption requires interoperability and a certain level of standardization; 4) Blockchain platform has to partially or fully replace existing legacy systems which requires time and resources; 5) Regulatory and legal frameworks are needed to guide the use of blockchain technology in food supply chains and possible security risks, even if blockchain offers advanced security. There is evidently still a long way to go in terms of building the human and infrastructural capacities to harness the full potential of blockchain technology in the food system, but the industry has already begun to embrace the possibilities and invest in developing agricultural solutions using the technology.