The introduction of DSTE’s very own Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) heightens smart farming and entire food supply chain into a whole new level. DSTE’s DLT is able to make ‘farm-to-fork’ reality on a larger scale where all transactional records are recorded on DSTE’s DLT system. Via this system, it aims to prevent food fraud, false labelling and redundant intermediaries. Farmers will be able to trace their crops, consumers will know the origin of the food they eat and the quality of the food is assured. Bureaucracy is reduced to minimum and price control is checked and balanced. All these is achievable with DSTE’s DLT ecosystem whereby DSTE helps to create a valuable network that increases the standard of the supply chain to be in par with global ISO standards and quality assurance. Therefore the saying of “You know exactly where your food comes from and who grew it. You know it is fresh” now becomes DSTE’s objective and goal to achieve. The following are solutions that DSTE’s DLT is targeting at achieving:
Improving Agricultural Supply Chains Management
The application of DSTE’s DLTs in agricultural supply chains would provide a digital database that records, tracks, monitors and transacts physical and digital assets. DLTs enable higher-quality transactions and enhanced traceability. The technology can integrate and manage each process and transaction throughout the agricultural supply chain in real time. Each transaction that is processed on the distributed ledger can carry transaction details and specific attributes for the product which can be added by supply chain actors. Supply chain market participants can identify and examine the produce and product’s movement along every step in the supply chain from the agricultural inputs and practices (fertilisers, fodder, water practices, harvesting, etc.) used on the farm to the transportation and storage conditions and details as the product moves to the retailer and consumer. The DLT stores immutable records that are transparent and, in theory, accessible to any user with the blockchain system. This technology has the potential to create vast efficiency gains for each actor in the supply chain.
Ensuring Immutable Product Process Links
DSTE’s DLTs provides a platform for traceability in agriculture supply chains to track provenance and ensure authenticity of agricultural products. Regulatory control will be easier with DLTs as the product can be traced along every registered movement in the supply chain, and this allows for legal accountability for fraudulent behaviour regarding a product’s authenticity.
Enhancing Food Safety
By enabling transparency and recording every detail of the production and processing of agricultural goods, the ability to ensure compliance with food and sustainability standards will be improved and data will be available on the products’ quality, safety and sustainability. Businesses and government authorities are able to track and monitor those on non-compliant with international standards and improve their ability to control plant and animal diseases in order to maintain disease-free status. In addition, the authorities should be able to easily, quickly and confidently issue export certifications. Virtually all of the required information associated with the product will be in the DLTs and certifications could even be automated.
Enhancement of Trust Features
Food fraud causes global food industry $40 billion annually and estimates of foodborne diseases are costed at US$55 billions a year. But with DSTE’s DLTs, it will enable businesses and regulators to trace and pinpoint contaminated or fraudulent products more quickly and less wastefully. It can trace contaminated products to their sources at speed to minimise any opportunity of diseases and financial losses.
Since DSTE’s DLTs provides a platform for traceability in agriculture supply chains, it helps farmers to monitor and track their crops so that agriculture products quality is assured, bureaucracy is reduced to minimum and it is more secured in terms of tracing authenticity of agricultural products and that involves logistics.
Lower Transactional Fees
DSTE’s DLTs have the potential to reduce friction costs and increase access to agricultural value chain finance, particularly for smallholders and MSMEs. According to Capgemini Consulting, distributed ledger-based smart contracts are estimated to save consumers up to US$16 billion annually on banking and insurance fee, and certainly savings from reduced friction costs generated by DLTs will also apply to agricultural financial services. Greater efficiency in supply chains and agricultural financial services can lead to greater financial inclusion and stronger business development.
Digital Payment Services
Financial transactions, such as payments to and from farmers, traders, processors and exporters for goods and services, or loan disbursements and repayments are the most common type of agricultural value chain services. For many agricultural value chain market participants, financial transactions are overwhelmingly cash-based. The process of handling, delivering and collecting cash is slow and expensive and is subject to risks such as theft and loss. Digital payment services have already proven to reduce costs and risks from cash-based transactions, while also generating data on value chain actors’ cash flows which can be used to assess credit risk.
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