Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 21
Amid growing popularity of organic products, Punjab has decided to adopt blockchain technology to check traceability of the organic products grown and ensure their transparency.
The technology will prevent fraudulent practice and ensure the authenticity of products to the consumers. Besides benefitting consumers, it will also boost farmers’ income.
In the first year, Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO) plans to cover 1,000 organic farmers in the state.
“We have an inventory of organic products and are in the process of enrolling farmers. We plan to implement the blockchain technology in the current kharif season itself,” said Ranbir Singh, general manager, PAGREXCO. In the first year, the state plans to cover wheat flour, basmati, turmeric, jaggery, honey and dalia for certification.
In the past few years, organic products have witnessed increased popularity. However, with increasing volume, it becomes extremely difficult for a common man to verify the authenticity of the product.
While there are several bodies that certify a farm for producing organic products, but they don’t ensure that a particular product is 100% organic. Also, several non-organic farmers befool consumers by fraudulently selling their products under a particular label by privately making some sort of financial arrangement.
In such a scenario, blockchain technology offers the much-needed help. Besides capturing data at every point within the supply chain ecosystem, cloud and IoT-powered blockchain system ensures that it is shared among every supply chain participant till the end-consumer.
Under the project, quality of seeds would be checked before sowing and will also be geo-tagged. The main objective of geo-tagging is to check falsification of plantation claims. Officials said regular inspection of the field would be undertaken to keep a check on the inputs and disease.
The centralised platform would also help in capturing all relevant information through a mobile application and give dashboard-based insights on the data captured, thereby ensuring traceability of the entire value chain.
By leveraging the blockchain technology, the consumers would be able to trace the origin of the seeds they purchase. Using technologies such as barcode and QR code, the software solution will allow the farmers to cross- check whether they are buying the genuine seeds hailing from Punjab or not.
For this purpose, PAGREXCO has appointed outsourcing agency Cropin Technology Solutions — a Bengaluru-based company for undertaking traceability certification through an IT software.
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