Blockchain and its Impact on Food and Farming
Can we track where food comes from?
There are many services and apps that allow its users to track the journey their food made before reaching them.
Whenever we step into a store to buy meat, fruit or vegetables, the packaging usually mentions which nation it came from. Some brands go the extra mile and offer stories about the conditions of the farm or harvesting land where it was cultivated.
This tracking of food is hard and sometimes, even misleading. The challenge is so extensive, it becomes impossible to track where an issue began.
Food Security has been frightening in the past. There have been many cases such as the fatal E. coli case in Arizona in 2018. The romaine lettuce grown in Arizona killed 5 people with 35 states affected and 200 cases identified.
Moreover, in 2013, we all heard about the horsemeat scandal in Europe. The advertised items were horsemeat and not beef. It was being sold in some of the biggest grocery stores in the continent. When the scandal broke out, the blame games began. The provider blamed their providers and they blamed there’s.
Blockchain will play a key role in reducing food-related scams as consumers will be aware of what they are picking up from the shelves the second they pick it up.
Would that work?
With smart farming solutions –yes!
They will encourage productivity and handle food need. Farmers who are currently utilizing blockchain call it a game changer. Customers know that the food they are consuming ranks high in wellness standards and hygiene. In case there is a problem in production, it can be determined where it started from in less than 30 seconds.
Certified fruits and vegetables will also be made available. Certification using blockchain will ensure that no details get lost in the process and is accompanied by paper validation.
Will food costs affect the process?
With the cost of food rising continuously, many questions if this will really work in the long-run. Of course, it will help in decreasing the food costs. How?
For starters, it will reduce paper-based documentation. It will also eliminate the need for intermediaries. This would result in low transaction fees. A decentralized system will encourage small-sized farms to compete with the best corporations.
Ideas like PavoCoin offer small farmers easy access to financial services. They include smart contracts that allow farmers to pre-sell their crops, take out loans to improve crops quality to quantity and offer consumers with more info about the food they put on their plates.
Will farmers suffer due to low costs?
No, in fact, they will be paid better for the work they do. They will also enjoy guaranteed selling of their crops with a broader market to negotiate their rates.
Conversely, it will also allow big brands to justify why they charge a premium for organically-grown produce. Since consumers will easily track the provenance of the produce, they will feel confident when paying extra for a high-end product.
Supply chain inadequacies will also be minimized. Merchants and farming organizations will take note of the demand flow and supply accordingly.
Blockchain dealing with food waste and smart contract initiations will guarantee that farmers earn fairly. The government will also have ample resources to control the food wastage and distribute it equally to eradicate hunger and poverty.