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Emerging opportunities for the application of blockchain in the agri-food industry









The updated version of this publication is available Emerging Opportunities for the Application of Blockchain in the Agri-food Industry (2020)



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    Book (stand-alone)
    Emerging opportunities for the application of blockchain in the agri-food industry
    Revised version
    2020
    Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and smart contracts provide a unique opportunity to bring greater efficiency, transparency and traceability to the exchange of value and information in the agriculture sector. By utilising digital records, cryptography and the disintermediation of transaction processing and data storage, DLTs can improve both agricultural supply chains and rural development interventions in a number of ways. The technology has the potential to simplify and integrate agricultural supply chains, enhance food safety, facilitate access to trade finance and other types of agricultural financial services, improve market transparency, provide greater legal certainty to land-tenure systems and strengthen accountability for compliance with international agreements related to agriculture. This paper aims to facilitate a better understanding of the opportunities, benefits and applications of DLTs in agri-foods. It explores the potential of DLTs to address many of the challenges that disadvantaged market players face by participating in integrated supply chains. It also identifies the technical limits, possible institutional barriers to their adoption and the way forward for the public sector. Overall, it shows how DLTs can be an impetus to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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    Policy brief
    How can blockchain’s general architecture enhance trade facilitation in agricultural supply chains?
    FAO Trade Policy Briefs No. 33 Trade & Agriculture Innovation
    2019
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    This brief provides an overview of the potential of distributed ledger technologies to facilitate transactions in agricultural supply chains through enhanced traceability, efficiency, transparency and accountability.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Digital technology and agricultural markets
    Background paper for The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2020
    2020
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    Digital technologies have a high potential to enable further development of the agricultural sector, significantly reshape food value chains (FVCs), and greatly contribute towards more productive, resilient and transparent food systems. This paper provides a non-technical overview of digital technologies that have a high potential to revolutionize the agriculture and food industry, and contribute towards inclusion of small farmers into FVCs. The particular focus is on digital platforms providing e-commerce services and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), such as blockchain, as they mutually enable more efficient and more inclusive local and global agricultural markets by tackling their contribution to reducing information asymmetries, transaction costs, and providing financial inclusion of actors along FVCs. Various examples indicate that digital technologies represent great potential benefits for small farmers including increased efficiency of production, direct access to market, inclusion in global value chains (GVCs), and access to finance and insurance services. The further potential of digital technologies, especially blockchain, could change existing linear food value chain models by providing more transparency and trust between the supply chain actors. Finally, by using digital technologies, governments can provide more efficient public services. Overall, the real impact of digital technologies on the agriculture and food industry will be more evident in the years to come when they become widely accepted by all involved actors, and their usage reaches a critical scale. The role of governments will be significant in enabling adequate environments for innovations and further technological development.

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