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Thailand trials blockchain for rice traceability

rice paddy field thailand

Thailand is cementing its position as a blockchain adopter, with several government agencies launching projects to test the feasibility of the distributed ledger technology. Now, Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) has announced that it will launch a blockchain traceability solution for agricultural products, starting with a pilot for organic rice, reported Nation Thailand.

Rice tops Thailand’s agricultural commodity exports, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. TPSO director-general Pimchanok Vonkorpon said the project would launch as soon as the department receives the operational budget for fiscal 2020.

The pilot initiative will track and trace Thailand’s jasmine rice from production to export. The TPSO, which falls under the purview of the Commerce Department, hopes to build confidence amongst buyers by proving the authenticity of Thailand’s agricultural produce. The aim is to reduce rejections by buyers and also the mixing of high and low-quality rice by producers.

The department is in talks with farmers and some 5,000 growers from Surin province will participate in the project. Based on the outcome of this pilot, the blockchain technology will be extended to include other agricultural produce.

The process will even involve cameras being installed in rice fields to ensure it’s genuinely organic.

The certification of the harvested rice will be uploaded on the blockchain by the relevant department.

Given that rice is the staple food for so many communities, it’s a popular application for blockchain food traceability.

A few weeks ago, Fujitsu partnered with Swiss startup Rice Exchange to develop the latter’s rice trading platform. In China, the Wuchang Municipal Government is working with three Alibaba subsidiaries to track and authenticate Wuchang rice.

Last year, non-profit Oxfam launched a blockchain project for Cambodian rice farmers called Blockchain For Livelihoods From Organic Cambodian Rice (BlocRice). The project aims to introduce cashless payments, smart contracts and prove the authenticity of organic rice from the country.