Major international organizations continue to explore blockchain. Last month, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released another update on its research and application of blockchain.
In recent months, the world has been teetering on the brink of global hunger due to political and economic turmoil. The organization says
the use of technology is necessary to improve the efficiency and transparency of existing agri-food systems and to ensure the well-being of more people without accelerating climate change.
The organization continues to test and use blockchain to transform food supply chains. FAO has already launched a large-scale blockchain project worth $90 million in Honduras to integrate blockchain into agricultural processes. FAO has also rolled out a pilot livestock tracking project in Papua New Guinea
and is developing systems to track legal and sustainable charcoal in Côte d'Ivoire
. The organization describes each project, its goals, and achievements in its publications.
Despite the long development and implementation process, FAO's blockchain projects are showing good results, and the organization plans to expand its use of blockchain, calling it "one of the most promising" technologies. FAO is now working with Wageningen College & Research, a public college in Wageningen, the Netherlands, to explore new uses for blockchain, such as managing forestry
or preventing child labor
in chocolate production.
FAO uses blockchain in the supply chain through tokenization, which binds goods to a non-exchangeable token (NFT). The organization believes blockchain should improve existing agricultural and food systems
- Enabling products to be tracked back to the source as proof of product safety and quality.
When you know where the food on your table, the feed for your livestock, and the wood for construction comes from, you can be sure these things are safe, high-quality, legal, and environmentally friendly.
- Facilitating efficient carbon accounting and optimal financial and legal accounting systems for farms.
Farmers and ranchers who use sustainable practices in farming and ranching can be supported by government programs and contribute to global carbon- reduction goals.
- Simplifying trade and document exchange.
Fast delivery and sales in the food sector are critical, as products typically have a limited shelf life. The faster trade happens, including international trade, the more food ends up on people's tables instead of in landfills.
- Keeping better land-tenure records.
When each landowner has delineated the boundaries of the land for which he is responsible, the boundaries of his rights and responsibilities are clearly defined. The allocation of rights and responsibilities on farms is an important aspect of product safety and impacts local ecosystems.
TransparenTerra and FCE Group are doing similar large-scale work in Nigeria’s Kaduna State in collaboration
with Synergos Nigeria. Using a blockchain-based digital system, farmers can keep records, track current prices, and receive fair remuneration for their labor.
At the same time, blockchain makes logistics
and retail processes more transparent, allowing customers to know the origin and actual quality of the products they buy. This allows them to know how crops and livestock were grown and pay a fair price. We’re reporting on the project’s successes on our website and in other media.
This month, the Ethereum blockchain is moving to a greener proof-of-stake consensus that in many ways solves the problems that blockchain technology, smart contracts, and tokenization have long stumbled over. Now the technology no longer consumes huge amounts of energy and can be widely used and supported by the government.
In the near future, blockchain-based export and international trade standards are likely to be introduced, and farmers in developing countries will gain access to the international market by proving the quality and origin of their products via blockchain. International organizations such as the FAO are confident about the potential of blockchain’s future in agri-food systems.