Skip to main content

Archives: Use cases

Agri-wallet: a wallet for smallholder farmers

Access to finance is a serious challenge for smallholder farmers worldwide, and the majority of them are still underfinanced.

When loans are provided, farmers may often pass these loans on to other people in need of cash.

This, as well as the absence of a credit score or collateral (like title deeds), create uncertainty and risk for financial institutions and increases the difficulty for farmers to obtain such loans or other forms of finance.

EthicHub: Creating global value through high-impact crowdlending for unbanked farmers

One of the first applications for the incentive system of blockchain: ‘cryptocurrency’ was its use in remittances.

A digital currency without borders could be used to transfer money across nations at a faster rate and lower cost than conventional methods.

Crowdlending platform, EthicHub, has explored and implemented these possibilities to provide smallholder farmers in developing countries with financial services. Jana Petkanic, from the Benelux office for EthicHub, talks about the company’s innovative blockchain project in Mexico.

Farm credibly: How blockchain technology helps young Caribbean farmers access finance

It is widely recognised that access to finance is one of the biggest barriers to more young people becoming engaged in agriculture.

Here, Varun Baker, a young Jamaican entrepreneur and winner of the CTA Pitch AgriHack 2018 contest, explains why he is convinced that blockchain technology can help to change this – and how his own start-up Farm Credibly is using the technology to improve access to finance for unbanked farmers.

Traseable: Tracking Fiji’s tuna with blockchain technology

The Pacific region is facing a huge decrease in fisheries revenue – its principal source of income and employment over the last decade.

Reported by Stop Illegal Fishing, the Fijian government states that, “About 306,440 t of fish were harvested illegally in the Pacific region with an estimated cost of $616.11 million from 2010 to 2015”.

BenBen Ghana: Empowering citizens by providing land security

Founded in 2015, BenBen is a Ghanaian-based land tenure and property tech start-up.

BenBen uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) in digital platforms for securing land-based assets and financial transactions in African land markets.

BenBen’s vision is to build the digital infrastructure to enable African economies to fully unlock the socio-economic potential of their land and create ethical land markets.

Blockchain coalition

During the first CGIAR Convention on Big data in Cali, Colombia in spetmeber 2017, we agreed that blockchain technology has a potential for addressing some of the seemingly insuperable challenges facing agri-food system  value chains with respect to things like seed integrity, food safety, traceability of origins, traceability of sustainability indicators and welfare indicators, traceability of hidden characteristics such as bio-fortification, along with more “traditional” blockchain applications such as smart contracts, and smart financial mediation. In general successful applications of blockchain technology could potentially greatly lower market risks. We agreed that it would make a lot of sense to share experiences in order to learn from them. One of the ways to do that is to develop a shared common research protocol to apply with blockchain pilot projects and proofs-of-concept in order to be able to draw conclusions about both the successes as well as the inevitable failures.


Strike Two Summit event #2 track #1

This tracked proposed to use digital identity to increase income for smallholder farmers. Track participants explored how data provided voluntarily by farmers about their livelihoods, lives and sustainability practices and performance could be monetised and exchanged as a new stream of wealth.

Problem statement: Farmers earn less than a required living income and are unfairly blamed for practices based on their circumstances. They are challenged by inability to access finance to stabilise earning and practices, so they remain marginal income earners. 

Objective: Develop an action plan to increase farmer income by providing them with a Digital Identity, connectivity and platform for data exchange. 

How can farmers benefit from a unique Farm Identity? 

The root causes for low farmer income are that the supply chain members recognize the value of the crop more than the value of the farmer. Buyers and consumers neglect farmer incomes. These are symptoms of a ‘broken’ food system. This issue can be overcome by introducing a digital ID into the system. This neutral ID will give farmers the opportunity to sell valuable data about their crops and practices via third party plugins supplied by Bluenumber (B#). B# allows the holder of the ID to offer data using an SDG framework. (1) 

The data will be priced according to the SDG framework in which scoring can be applied to each unique farmer. Through the implementation of blockchain technology this ensures monetizable data of value to support sustainability claims (by product brands) and sustainable development (by government entities). (1) 

Farmers will remain self-sovereign, peer-verified and benchmarked against independent data sources. The holder of the ID always hold the property rights to the data they create. The data will be offered by holders on a demand driven marketplace in which the holders will be paid for the data they supply. Bluenumber and partners that supply the application and plugins would merely receive brokerage fees on permission from the B# holder. (1) 

Especially small farmers in development countries would benefit from a digital ID. The reason for this is the lack of identity in an existing data-rich environment. Many farmers in these areas are not yet connected and lack modern day IT services. For this reason these same farmers also haven’t issued a unique ID and consequently cannot gain economic leverage.(1)