Oxfam Empowers Farmers with Blockchain-Based Program
Another day, another blockchain adaptation with the latest being rice farming. Oxfam has officially unveiled BlocRice, a blockchain-based program whose aim is to offer “farmers significantly more negotiation power and to increase the efficiency of the supply chain by connecting buyers and suppliers directly through their system.”
BlocRice, which has completed successful experiments in Cambodia, has a major goal of increasing farmers’ revenue. It aims to do this by encouraging the farmers to form cooperatives in the mode of labor unions, so as to ensure that there is an increase in the price of agricultural produce across the board.
Country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, Solinn Lim, elaborated on the program by saying that it will encourage the usage of smart contracts between “organic rice farmers and exporters in Cambodia and buyers in the Netherlands.”
According to her, “BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers.”
In addition, Lim stated that all the data related to transportation, souring, and usage of the rice will be shared with all parties on a central system based on the blockchain. She believes this will encourage a “more cohesive and transparent relationship between all involved parties.”
As part of the program, Oxfam has already facilitated and negotiated the usage of smart contracts between “rice farmers in Cambodia Preah Vihear province, exporters in Cambodia, and SanoRice, the Dutch rice cracker manufacturer.”
Another objective of the BlocRice initiative will be the introduction of cashless payments to farmers, which will be done using accounts provided to the program by Acleda bank. Before now, many of the farmers had no means of opening a bank account.
This initiative by Oxfam has shown just how blockchain technology can be used to improve the lives of individuals through empowerment and the renegotiation of existing power structures between business parties.
Rice farming has become the latest industry to deploy blockchain technology to its settings. Oxfam launched a blockchain-based program known as BlocRice whose initiative will be to give severely underpaid farmers more negotiation power while simultaneously increasing the supply chain efficiently by directly connecting suppliers and buyers through the system. The program has already undergone several successful trials in Cambodia.
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