By Ken Cottrill, Co-Founder and Research Principal
In countries such as the United States the increasing number of foodborne illness outbreaks is attracting attention, but the issues are by no means confined to wealthy nations. A World Bank study published in October 2018 finds that the impact of unsafe food on low- and middle-income economies amounts to some $110 billion annually in lost productivity and medical expenses.
Companies are developing blockchain solutions to make supply chains more transparent and hence improve food safety. But enabling small-scale farmers with limited resources in developing countries to adopt blockchain technology is a challenge.
Smallholder farmers are a vital link in food supply chains. There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farming households that cultivate five acres or less of land, explains a new eBook from Chain Business Insights LLC titled Blockchain in Smallholder Farming: Sowing the Seeds of Growth. In combination, they represent a major part of the world’s agricultural output.
Blockchain technology “can address key smallholder supply chain issues such as a lack of trust, the absence of reliable and permanent systems of records and the need for effective data management systems,” says the eBook.