Agrinode-Enhancing Agricultural Supply Chain

AgriNode - AGN
4 min readMay 24, 2022

Supply chain refers to the design, engineering, production and distribution processes of goods and services from suppliers to customers. Supply chains are typically under centralized management systems, such as enterprise resource planning systems for information flow management. Such systems are prone to error, hacking, and corruption. Blockchain technology, an emerging smart technology, can effectively manage these issues. This is a digital, decentralized and disruptive innovation in which transactions are recorded in chronological order with the aim of creating permanent and anti-monopoly records.

With increased globalization and intense competition in the market, food supply chains have become longer and more complex than ever before. There are some common problems in food supply chains such as food traceability, food safety and quality, food trust and supply chain inefficiency, which add additional risks to the entire society, economy and the health of humans. Smart agriculture is the use of technologies, such as the Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing in traditional agriculture. Blockchain technology is also used in smart agriculture. Technological advances have had a great impact on agricultural production. Blockchain technology allows goods and individuals to be tracked from their origin throughout the supply chain based on real time. The blockchain technology also gives all supply chain operators the ability to know what was done at what time and by whom. The distribution of the blockchain network promotes transparency and tracking of goods and services in a supply chain. These capabilities require accurate data collection and secure storage for reliable data tracking.

Agriculture and food supply chains are well interlinked, since the products of agriculture are almost always used as inputs in some multi-actor distributed supply chain, where the consumer is usually the final client. Blockchain in supply chain management is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 87% and increase from $45 million in 2018 to $3,314.6 million by 2023.

Blockchain technology allows critical information about the farming, production, transport of agri-commodities to be immutably recorded. Attaching this data to the digital asset enables it to move securely between participants along the supply chain. With the power to trace commodities and create data rich digital assets, the growing problems of food fraud and security across global agri-supply chains can be addressed with greater success.

The agricultural sector’s supply chain is notoriously complex and opaque, as shipments change hands multiple times before reaching their final destination. It is difficult for farmers to know where, for what price and how much of their products are ultimately sold. The blockchain based food supply chain can help different stakeholders access information about the food’s quality at every stage. As blockchain brings transparency in the food supply chain ecosystem, it will be easier to figure out when and how food has been contaminated.

Transactions in agricultural supply chains are inherently risky and complex, thus relying on a number of intermediaries while more conscious consumers have poor transparency on where their food comes from and how it is produced. The agri-food and technology industries are already exploring such applications. IBM and Walmart used blockchain-based technologies to track a package of mangoes along its exact path from retail shelf to farm in a matter of seconds.

Using blockchain-based platforms, supply chain participants can report emerging issues in real time. If a foodborne disease outbreak still occurs, retailers can determine where the contaminated food came from in a matter of seconds. This helps to implement quick food recalls and thereby save the health and even the lives of buyers.

This lack of information leaves them vulnerable, and at the mercy of traders who can dictate order prices and quantities. Blockchain technology can help rectify this imbalance by recording transactions in real time and providing up-to-date supply and demand information to participants. Having access to such information could allow farmers to set their own prices properly and optimize the quantities of products they put out on the market.

Due to its characteristics of transparency, security and decentralization, blockchain technology makes it possible to track the information about food quality in the entire supply chain. This helps prevent fraud in food transactions and reduce the costs of food supply chain management. All parties, including producers, consumers and government regulatory bodies, can thus be benefitted.

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AgriNode - AGN

Blockchain technology has many applications, including solutions to problems in agriculture, in- cluding traceability of food products, finance, insurance