Technology in agriculture is becoming fundamental as the sector is becoming increasingly modern and receptive to high-tech methods of production and supply chain management.
Blockchain technology is one of the ideal technologies that the agriculture industry is using to support some functions such as providing information about soil composition, managing the supply chain, crop insurance, and sourcing for markets.
Specifically, a Bengaluru-based digital commodity management platform, Eka Software, has developed a Blockchain system for the Coffee Board of India.
The company that also serves a local agriculture giant Cargill and a mining firm Rio Tinto is aiming to grow the local Indian Coffee market by offering farmers access to international markets, and reliable coffee data to roasters and exporters.
The Eka Blockchain platform was launched on Thursday and plans are underway to expand its operations to other agricultural commodities.
Curbing Waste In The India Coffee Sector
According to the CEO of Eka Software, Manav Garg, the new Blockchain platform has been built to curb wastage in the Coffee sector. The CEO reveals that plans are underway to incorporate other agricultural commodities in the future.
Managing Data For The Coffee Board Of India
Eka platform will also help the Coffee Board of India to offer coffee roasters and exporters data in regards to the quality of the commodity. This will ensure that farmers earn more from their products as they will be able to directly link up with the coffee processors. Therefore, payments will be done as per the quality of production and farmers will be incentivized to adopt quality production means.
The next phase after managing the data is to create a payment gateway so that farmers can get paid in real-time. The design will be built to eliminate the issues of non-payments and delayed payments that have the potential to hurt the industry.
Eliminating Middlemen And Tracing Coffee Products
The Blockchain marketplace from Eka is set to eliminate coffee brokers that have been blamed widely in India for exploiting farmers by buying coffee at below-market prices. Further, the Blockchain platform will allow traceability of coffee origins so that consumers and coffee shops can trace their coffee packages to the farmer.
The Blockchain network has so far attracted 6 exporters and coffee roasters, 14 large scale farmers and more additions are expected.
The chief executive officer at Coffee Board, Srivatsa Krishna, is confident that the Indian Coffee supply chain given the immense benefits of the Eka Blockchain.
Indian Coffee Will Become Premium In The Long-run
The Brazilian and Colombian coffee is categorized as premium since it can be traced to the farmer. Therefore, since Eka Blockchain will support end-to-end traceability, the Indian coffee will also become premium and compete on a level-ground in international markets.
Other countries that are planning to digitize coffee production are Ethiopia and France.
The Project Will Be Monetized Later
At this point, the Eka Blockchain is not monetized as the developers are aiming to prove its value to farmers, roasters and exporters. However, a Token will be introduced in the future to Tokenize on-platform transactions.