A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about FinTech and farming. We were discussing the new technologies that will revolution both our industry and our lives. At that moment, we put the focus of the column, in discussing the various companies to a national and internationally level, which make loans for small and large farmers by apps, with the support of AI to award credits or not.
Today we will discuss another tech tool that is taking the world of crypto, real estate, NFTs by storm, and one that soon will change food safety in farming. I am talking about Blockchain (BC).
Let’s start by defining BC, so then later we are able to analyze its practical applications.
BC is basically a series of digital blocks where all that is happening is being “stored” in a logbook with a digital asset or any digital activity digitalized. That information is being stored in thousands of nodes or computers. So, all the things happening in the logbook are impossible to change, as thousands of people have “written down” the movements. Also, these movements are intertwined and encrypted. It is impossible to change that logbook.
The best example of its use is Bitcoin. Every time a Bitcoin is sold and goes from one hand to another, this is recorded on the BC, and it is impossible that someone says otherwise.
The use of BC has already been tested in farming. Currently, the market value of this tool is for about $130 million dollars, and an annual growth of 48% is expected, so that by 2025 this industry within the food sector will be worth $948 million dollars.
Its main use is focused on food safety and security of food. Making sure that traceability is accurate and correct. Learning where our food is coming from, and that processes and criteria needed have been applied in a timely manner; avoiding food fraud.
With the BC it will be possible to record in the logbook and the “nodes” each of the movements and steps that our foods are traveling. With this digital tool, we are able to know when was it harvested, who cut it, if food safety criteria in the field and in the packaging facility were met or not, what time were the chloride parts per million of water in the packaging facility were measured, when was it loaded, where did it come from, what was the shipper company, what was the temperature it had, what time did it arrive, who received it, who was it sold to, among hundreds of other variables which may be uploaded to the cloud and be protected with BC. Also, we are able to involve certifying agencies so that widely known certificates such as Primus GFS, SMETA, SRRC, Global Gap, CEAR, SQF, among others; become a part of BC blocks with their due results. I insist: This way, nobody can manipulate this digital book or logbook, because thousands of nodes or people are witnesses and have them in their computers.
It should be noted that multinational companies such as Nestle, Tyson, Dole, McCormick, among others, have partnered with IBM to explore and apply BC in their companies. Discussing this matter with an expert here in Sinaloa, Engineer Germán Ever Alfaro, he calculates that this tool will be of common use within 5 years.
Although the use of BC sounds distant and difficult to understand, we will be seeing more practical uses of it. Transparency and speed are key in any industry, and that is exactly what BC provides. Farming is no exception. People from Sinaloa, as the leaders we have always been, we have the responsibility of being the spearhead in the use of this technology, and we are working on it!
Veggies From Mexico, CEO