In an effort to promote blockchain implementation in agriculture across Africa, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has awarded four blockchain grants to projects focused on improving food supply chains.
The grants were awarded to Bioversity International, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Erba 96 and Nitidae. Using the funds, the four organization will implement blockchain initiatives in Côte d’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda.
Bioversity International, for instance, will focus on tracking the quality of cocoa farming using distributed ledger technology. CIAT will implement spatial risk indicators for supply-chain management while Erba 96 and Nitdae will each develop a blockchain supply chain traceability solution for cocoa and vegetables respectively.
Implementing blockchain in Africa’s food supply chain
Around the world, there has been an increased focus on ethically sourced food products, with more consumers demanding to know the origin of the products they purchase and how it was sourced. And with many current systems struggling to track products back to their origins, blockchain offers the best solution to increase supply chain transparency.
With blockchain, it is possible to trace food products from the moment produce leaves a farm to the point of purchase. Not only does this allow customers to have a holistic view of their foods products, but it also enables food retailers to reduce cost, improve efficiency and reduce waste. Additionally, implementation of blockchain in Africa’s food supply chain also reduces reliance on intermediaries as well as improving food traceability and safety.
Ken Lohento, Senior Programme Coordinator ICT4Ag at CTA said:
“At CTA we are focused on the innovative use of technology for the digitalisation of key value chains. In supporting new use cases we seek to accelerate the transformation of agriculture and believe the use of blockchain may play a valuable role in accomplishing this.”
Meanwhile, Brigitte Laliberte, Scientist at Bioversity International, said the grant allows them to increase their efforts in supporting quality cocoa farming in Africa.
“We are thrilled about this partnership with CTA as it supports our objective of increasing quality and promoting excellence in cocoa farming and the creation of trust, transparency, and traceability from farmers to consumers across three countries,” Lalibert said.
Funded by the EU, CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). It aims to promote food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture.