Blockchain in Agriculture and its Inimitable Applications in a Farm Management Software
Blockchain technology is a familiar term these days with the increased popularity of digital currencies, like Bitcoin. Wondering what it has to do with a Farm Management Software? I would say, almost everything!
What is Blockchain Technology?
In layman terms, Blockchain technology is like a digital ledgerÂ to store data. The data is collected together in groups (blocks). These blocks have a unique digital identity and are time stamped. Each block when found, is chained to a previously filled block. This chain of data is called a Blockchain and forms a digital ledger. This digital ledger is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the Blockchain. Once created they cannot be tampered with by anyone, even the user.
To make it simpler, think of Blockchain like interlaced rings. Each ring is interlaced with the earlier ring just like the Blocks connected to the chain. Now the exact replica of these rings are present in all the servers on a Blockchain network. If anyone decides to unlace one ring from the interlaced network, the other copies will not accept this tampered data. On top of all this security, a Blockchain can be accessed only with a private key belonging to you. The highlights of using this technology are,
Â· Increased transparency
Â· Reduced paperwork
Â· Smart contracts
Â· Permanent timestamped record of all data
While a Blockchain is a storage system, it depends on third party sources for quality and reliable information. They are called the oracles. Hardware such as RFIDs, sensors in the field, barcode scanners etc. are examples of an oracle. Software is another type of oracle that brings data into a Blockchain. Software delivers data from digital sources such as websites, servers, or databases, etc.
The applications for Blockchain technology in a farm management software are endless!
- Contract agreement with farmersÂ· Farmer diary with pictures and field data
- Details of farm inputs provided
- Prices agreed and payment details
- Sales agreement with customers
- Recommended package of practice
- Pesticide usage details
Enhance supply chain
- Transport/ shipping documents
- Lab test results
- Certificate of analysis
- Specification sheets
- Audit reports
An FMS that works on Blockchain technology can thus reduce the paperwork of your agribusiness and create a permanent history of its operations from farm to fork while creating a smart database for efficiency. Since using Blockchain technology in all aspects of an FMS can be a bit expensive, you do have the choice to optimize only the crucial areas of your contract farming with a Blockchain foundation. That way, you can have increased control over your weak spots.
FMS for FPOâS on the next blog.