Within the last few years, the agricultural industry has seen substantial benefits from the use of app technology and mobile development programs. In Australia, we are seeing how the introduction of Blockchain, as we have seen used within the context of cryptocurrency, could further increase productivity within agribusiness. Agribusiness of course, is having anything and everything that has to do with agriculture—from putting the seed in the ground to futures trading. Before we begin, I always want to give clear definitions of our subject so that we can then delve into its significance.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain, was first introduced by a person (or group) by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. This valuable piece of tech is has been used to transfer currency or assets between two individuals without the need of an arbiter. Every transaction is recorded in a register that is shared by everyone associated within that blockchain. Each single transaction of an asset is known as a block and the ongoing history of that asset is where the term blockchain is derived from. While blockchain was originally developed for the use of digital currency, the tech community has found a variety of other uses for blockchain in varying industries.
Blockchain and Agribusiness
So now within the context of agribusiness, blockchain has brought three significant overall benefits: The use of mobile payments/credits, real-time of supply chain transactions and financing, and last but not least, a new level of transparency.
Economic access to capital has always been an issue for a majority of farmers in the past, however mobile banking and micro-financing has created a great alternative for many. The only problem that farmers face with this new resource is the high risk factor and lack of transparency; making blockchain a perfect resolve.
Even CEO’s of big financial platforms, as Dmitry Zaretsky founder of IQ Option, expressed their full confidence of this “new farm Bitcoin”.
Not only can blockchain create transparency for farmers, but for consumers as well. For many consumers, looking for credibility within the organic food market, blockchains can create platform to make the supply chain completely transparent from farm to table. This will provide consumers with a plethora of information about their food and also allows manufacturers and retailers to justify the added costs of certain products.
Teaching the Future
With many seeing the exponential benefits of app technology within the industry, there are a couple schools making this a priority to teach to their students. The Muresk Institute near Perth, Australia will be offering associates degrees in agribusiness by 2019. Allowing a 2-year agribusiness program as a pathway to a bachelor’s is estimated to increase the amount of students to pursue agribusiness as a career. Many institutions have took notice of the evolving nature of agriculture to agribusiness, and the benefit of taking a more progressive and cumulative approach.