Ruchika M Khanna
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 10
The agrarian state of Punjab has taken a major step towards value addition in its produce, with the introduction of blockchain traceability-based certification system.
The system, which allows for instant tracing of the entire lifecycle of food products from origin through every point of contact to the consumer, has been introduced for potato seed. With more growers opting for it, it will be introduced for the organic produce grown by 5,000 farmers in the state.
“This certification will give a fillip to the credibility, efficiency and safety of the produce, especially in these times of consumers’ sensitivity towards knowing the disease-free origin of their food and its entire journey from farm to fork,” said Manjit Singh Brar, managing director, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation.
It is PAGREXCO, a subsidiary of PAIC, that is implementing the blockchain traceability-based certification system for potato seeds during the current rabi season. Punjab is among the largest producers of potato seeds in India, with the production this year pegged at 6.25 lakh tonnes. The seeds produced in the state are sent all over the country, and this year, it is expected to garner Rs 1,000 crore business for the state’s potato seed growers (getting a price of Rs 16,000 per tonne). Sukhjit Singh Bhatti, a leading potato seed producer based in Jalandhar, told The Tribune that this year the business had been good, and the blockchain traceability certification would bolster the sales further. “With the introduction of traceability certification, more farmers will come in the formal sector for selling produce,” he said.
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