Blockchain and the future of agricultural markets

Experts are increasingly interested in uses that improve value chains in agricultural food systems in low and middle-income countries.

Given the many non-financial applications for blockchain that have cropped up ever since cryptocurrencies gave it a controversial reputation, more people have become “blockchain-curious.”

Medical and pharmaceutical industries are also embracing blockchain to secure public health and personal information and to safeguard consumers against counterfeit drugs. There are also blockchain enthusiasts in agricultural and related industries investigating its use in ensuring global food security. While most of us have become wise to counterfeit software, telephony, and designer handbags, few realize the same deceptive practices can affect food, feed, seed, and agricultural supplies. A compromised herbicide or pesticide, for example, might not be identified until after a crop fails. It could take years and declining health before some realize they are not receiving promised fortifications.

 Food security blockchain enthusiasts are encouraged to join the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture’s “Blockchain Coalition,” which is emerging from the Platform’s Socio-Economic Data Community of Practice (SED-CoP) led by Gideon Kruseman (CIMMYT).
Since the CGIAR Platform collaborates with stakeholders at 15 research centers and 12 research programs around the world, the Coalition will draw leading specialists who can work together to shape the future of blockchain’s use in agriculture.
The state of global blockchain culture is a theme for STEM-Trek’s July workshop called DIGI-FI@PEARC18. The workshop will take place during the Practice & Experience in Advanced Research Computing (PEARC18) conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 22-25. Watch the STEM-Trek site for updates.

Apr 3, 2018

Elizabeth Leake

Founder, STEM-Trek Nonprofit

This article’s original version is posted on the Chicago Council on Global Affairs blog.