Blockchain technology to bring transparency in coffee value chain

Blockchain technology to bring transparency in coffee value chain
Blockchain will help in creating a brand image for Indian coffee through traceability, in reducing growers dependency on intermediaries by having a direct access to buyers for a fair price for their produce, in finding right coffee suppliers for exporters and within the stipulated time to meet the growing demands and in building a better trust and long term relationship

José Dauster Sette, Executive Director, International Coffee Organisation from Nairobi and Dr. Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary, Government of India from New Delhi today simultaneously activated Blockchain based marketplace App for Indian coffees for traceability, better price discovery and building brand image.

The Coffee Blockchain initiative, a pilot project, developed in coordination with Eka Software Solutions, one of the global leaders in digital commodity management platforms for agriculture was announced by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Suresh Prabhu on September 4, 2018 in New Delhi. The initiative became fully operational today.

“This transformative initiative will help in creating a brand image for Indian Coffee through traceability, in reducing growers dependency on intermediaries by having a direct access to buyers for a fair price for their produce, in finding right coffee suppliers for exporters and within the stipulated time to meet the growing demands and in building a better trust and long term relationship due to increased visibility towards the traceability and transparency of the produce. This is perhaps the second or third only blockchain project across any sector in Government in India and also so in the coffee world,” said Anup Wadhawan while activating the Blockchain based marketplace.

Speaking on the impact of technological intervention in coffee value chain, Manav Garg, CEO & Founder, Eka Software Solutions said, “The Coffee Board of India is at the forefront of modernising coffee production in India by adopting the latest in tech and we are excited about partnering with them again to activate India’s first Blockchain based coffee marketplace. With this activation we are confident that Coffee Board of India will help the Indian coffee trade make more inroads into the premium market internationally and make India one of the top three coffee producers in the world.”

The App is expected to create a transparent digital platform or marketplace for both domestic and international coffee buyers and sellers. This will help in creating a brand image for Indian coffee through traceability, and reduce grower’s dependency on intermediaries, in finding right coffee suppliers for exporters and within the stipulated time to meet the growing demands.

Salient features of the App

  • Immutable producer-to-consumer traceability and transparency via a decentralised, locked ledger
  • Better price discovery to the farmers
  • A stronger negotiating position for producers by providing them with verifiable details of how much their coffee is worth and all stages of the supply chain
  • It provides an online secure framework for sharing ledgers and transactions, enhancing record keeping veracity while saving time and this technology can be leveraged to create automatic digital payments in conjunction with trade
  • A digital ID that follows a physical product
  • Smart Contracts commit all actors directly and in real time
  • Glass pipeline substantiates quality standards and certifications
  • Source of record accessible to all parties

Indian Coffee Sector
In India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.54 lakh hectares by 3.66 lakh coffee farmers and 98 per cent of them are small farmers. Coffee cultivation is mainly confined to southern states of Karnataka (54%), Kerala (19%) and Tamil Nadu (8%) which form traditional coffee tracts. To a lesser extent, coffee is also grown in non-traditional areas like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (17.2%) and North Eastern states (1.8%), with main emphasis on tribal development and afforestation.

The Coffee Board of India is a statutory organisation constituted under the provisions of Coffee Act, 1942 and functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. Coffee Board’s core activities are directed towards research and development, transfer of technology, quality improvement, extending development support for coffee production, and promotion of coffee in export and domestic markets as well as export promotion both in developmental as well as regulatory framework. In an effort to increase competitiveness, the Board aims to improve all segments of the value chain in the industry.

Technological Interventions
Coffee Board has taken key digital initiatives for the overall technological advancement of the coffee sector and value chain. These initiatives are aimed at benefiting all stakeholders in the coffee value chain. All these initiatives are intended towards unlocking the potential in coffee sector by leveraging the technology and reach.

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