We joined forces with two United Nations agencies, the International Telecommunications Unit and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Switch Maven and Decoupled Ventures to bring blockchain traceability to the Livestock Industry in a proof of concept with pig farmers in Papua New Guinea.
In Papua New Guinea, pigs are an incredibly valuable asset. As a farmer, if you feed your pigs a diet of sweet potato and follow the correct vaccination program you can boost this value enormously. However without any form of digital record, this extra effort and value is incredibly hard to prove.
Over the last four months, we have been mucking out a solution to help farmers in Papua New Guinea create digital records of their pigs as part of a regional Livestock Traceability initiative by the United Nations. Working with farmers in PNG, we aim to give them the digital tools to securely prove and share the history of a pig, earn a better price in market and eventually use this digital record to access real time finance.
“Pigs are a valuable commodity in PNG, as a status symbol and a core part of the social and economic environment” said Switch Maven Managing Director Raman Nambiar, “It also seemed fitting to launch this project on cue in 2019 with the Chinese New Year of the pig and bring attention to increasing quality in a growing production market for PNG.”
The proof of concept goes live on Geora, a protocol built using ethereum based technology specifically designed for agriculture. Geora is the product of AgriDigital’s work over the past three years in testing the application of blockchain to agriculture. Geora gives farmers the ability to create shared digital records of livestock in a way that maintains a level of data integrity previously unavailable in markets like PNG. By integrating RFID tags and simple mobile applications to a smart contract layer we can create a more complete and robust digital record representing an animal. Using this, we are helping farmers prove the value of their asset when they go to market, and unlock opportunities for them to access finance and innovate across their business.
Bringing this technology to small local farmers improves the level of transparency and trust in the product quality, opening the door to the analysis of small scale farming and possible applications to a wide range of initiatives including biosecurity, branding and digital marketplaces.
We see this project as part of a general advancement towards more practical applications of blockchain, moving beyond the recent stigma of a tech solution struggling to find real world problems to solve. For AgriDigital and Geora one of the keys to commercialising blockchain can be found in taking a customer centric focus in designing the solution and being pragmatic when architecting the various components.
The initial prototype of the system will be launched on Android mobile devices in March in the Jiwaka province of PNG where farmers will be trained to record pig data and digitise the lifetime milestones of their livestock. The project focuses not just on rolling out a digital solution for the PNG market, but at providing the digital tools and know how for local communities to continue to innovate and engage with global supply chains.
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About The Parties Involved Geora is a blockchain protocol for global agriculture, helping technology companies and agribusiness trace, trade and finance along agri-supply chains. For more information on Geora see www.geora.io AgriDigital is a digital platform for agricultural commodities enabling seamless trade flow management and supply chain finance. For more information on AgriDigital see www.agridigital.io Switch Maven is an Australian based digital consultancy specialising in software development and Blockchain technology. Decouple Ventures creates composable Apps and Businesses for the third iteration of the Web. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. International Telecommunications Unit is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies.