Sunday, December 08, 2019

Blockchain technology to be used in traceability of organic rice

Nov 25. 2019
The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO)'s director-general. Pimchanok Vonkorpon
The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO)'s director-general. Pimchanok Vonkorpon
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By The Nation

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The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) has announced that it will use blockchain technology for production-to-export traceability of agricultural products, starting with organic rice, so as to build confidence among buyers.

The TPSO’s director-general Pimchanok Vonkorpon said the project will start as soon as the Office receives the operating budget for fiscal 2020 and TPSO will also accelerate discussions with blockchain experts, related authorities, and financial institutions to speed up the development of blockchain system.

“We already talked with farmers and some 5,000 growers from Surin province will participate in this project,” she said. “We expect that the project will start in the middle of the next year, and if successful, we will extend it to other agricultural products.”

The blockchain system will be able to trace the process from cultivation, which involves a camera being installed in the rice fields to check where it was grown and whether it is really organic rice, while the production or packaging process can verify where it was produced.

The certification process checks the department that serves as the inspector and issues the certificate, while the financial institutions who act as the payment intermediary after the rice is sold provide the information on the buyer and the country of export.

“This system will help instill confidence in Thai organic rice, reducing problems of buyer’s rejection, product adulteration, and licence subrogation in order to increase the bargaining power and add more value to the product, as well as creating opportunities for expanding export markets,” said Pimchanok.

“The buyers can check the source of organic rice. If they have a problem such as finding that it is not organic rice, they will be able to reject it.”

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