According to the official announcement, Oxfam, a global charity firm has successfully launched a blockchain project to empower the custodian rice supply chain. The new blockchain program is called BlocRice which connects buyers and suppliers on an open network. The App aims to help farmers achieve the more negotiation power to enhance the efficiency of the supply chain. Before the prior launch, the project has gone through successful trials in Cambodia.
Blockchain to Track Agricultural Products
In a statement, Oxfam reads that;
“The project aims to test blockchain technology and its smart contracts, a digital three-way contract farming arrangement between primary producer, Cambodian rice exporter, and retailer in Europe, to improve farmers’ livelihood and their supply conditions,”
“Farmers gain collective bargaining power since agricultural cooperatives will be party to the contracts,”
BlocRice – To Promote Cashless Payment
An inbuilt blockchain based App is focusing on trace-ability and transparency which keeps farming players in a row. As per the report, the project will work with 50 rice farmers in Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province. With this, the project encourages cashless payment. The pilot phase of the project will be first introduced to the farmers. In order to successfully complete the proposed plans for farmers, the biggest local commercial bank, Acleda Bank is supporting the move. As a result, more followers have already opened the accounts with FinTech.
Today, 50 farmers, Preah Vihear province, are opening wallet accounts with ACLEDA bank for their cashless payment of their organic rice selling in the upcoming harvest time. This will help reducing traveling time and paper work transaction and minimizing security risk. #BlocRice pic.twitter.com/AW04HtxWpA
— Oxfam in Cambodia (@OxfamKH) August 17, 2018
Presently, the pilot project is limited to organic rise and it is expected to expand other agriculture products in the future. Cashe nuts, cassava, pepper are few of the products the project may consider. On top of all, Oxfam predicts the number of farmers participating in BlocRice will rise up from 1000 by 2020 to 5000 by 2022.
The information shared through a blockchain based system will ensure a transparent and trusted relationship between parties including farmers, Cambodian rice exporters and Dutch importers.
However, it also encourages economic empowerment. The official notes follow as;
“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers,”.