Zimbabwe is one of the first African countries to have a blockchain-based cattle traceability system. In a partnership between Washington DC-based social enterprise E-Livestock Global and Mastercard, the payment technology company is bringing its Provenance blockchain technology to Zimbabwe’s beef supply chain.
With this food traceability system, Zimbabwe hopes to revitalize its declining beef export market with herds hit by a tick-borne disease in 2018.
“Tracking the medical history of cattle on a tamper-proof blockchain ledger will foster renewed trust in Zimbabwean cattle farming and re-establish Zimbabwe’s credibility as an international beef exporter”, said Max Makuvise, Founder and President of E-Livestock Global.
How it works
Each cow is tagged with a unique, ultra-high frequency RFID tag that registers it and its owner onto the blockchain. If the animal is dipped, vaccinated or receives medical treatment, the tag records the information onto the traceability system.
The recorded data will provide a secure and tamper-proof trail of each animal’s history. For farmers, the blockchain system provides an irrefutable record that proves ownership and can allow them to obtain a loan through using their cattle as collateral.
Consumers can also rest assured with such a guarantee of product quality, instilling confidence, trust and awareness into the supply chain.
“Building trust in industries is essential for a functioning and reliable value chain. At Mastercard, we believe that seamless supply chain transparency can help convey authenticity, expand inclusion, share sustainability practices and improve back-office efficiencies”, said Mark Elliot, Division President of Mastercard, Southern Africa.
Already, other supply chains, including those for Australian avocados and Californian shrimp, have benefitted from the Mastercard Provenance solution.
Mastercard is forging partnerships with leading agricultural blockchain firms. Last year, it partnered with GrainChain to create digital records of commodities and collaborated with Envisible in 2019 to integrate Provenance with Envisible’s food traceability system, Wholechain.
Elsewhere, beef traceability is being pursued in the supply chain from Australia to China by the Aussie agritech firm Aglive. And the blockchain startup BeefChain is also offering technology to allow consumers to trace their beef products.