News Supply chain

India’s Farmer Producer Company model explores blockchain for food traceability

vegetables fruits farm agriculture food traceability

India-based Sahyadri Farmers Producer Co is adopting blockchain for food traceability from farm to fork, The Hindu Business Line reported. Sahyadri Farms aims to increase the payout to farmers by improving efficiency and transparency in supply chains. 

A farmer producer company (FPO) is a hybrid between cooperative societies and private limited companies. The idea is to organize farmers to improve their bargaining power while ensuring efficient business practices are implemented. Over half of India’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. 

Sahyadri Farms is one of the largest FPO’s in the country, with FY2019-20 revenue of Rs. 4.6 billion ($61.8 million). Currently, the FPO promises farmers a 25% share of the final price of goods sold by the firm. Using blockchain to save friction costs, the company aims to increase the farmer’s share to 50%, Sahyadri Farms’ Chairman Vilas Shinde told BusinessLine. 

The company is using blockchain to increase transparency in its business. It will use it to provide customers with information such as harvest details and produce quality. Additionally, it shows the money the farmer receives and the costs such as processing, packaging and transport. The customers need to scan a QR code on the product packaging to access the provenance details.

While improving consumer trust, the solution enables farmers to get details of where their individual produce went and at what price it was sold. Along with provenance, blockchain also ensures the food safety of the products and would help Sahyadri Farms prove its sustainability claims. 

IIT-Bombay incubated start-up EmerTech Innovations is developing the blockchain platform. The company’s CEO, Gaurav Somwanshi, told BusinessLine that about 15,000-20,000 labels are stuck to produce lots daily and then tracked by the blockchain. 

A few months ago, Agri10x announced it was working with the government to deploy a blockchain-based online marketplace connecting farmers with global traders. 

Another agritech, Freshstack Technologies, which runs an online agricultural marketplace, said it was adopting the dltledgers blockchain for digital trading.