Blockchain Technology for Agriculture: Applications and Rationale

The blockchain is a ledger of accounts and transactions that are written and stored by all participants. It promises a reliable source of truth about the state of farms, inventories and contracts in agriculture, where the collection of such information is often incredibly costly. The blockchain technology can track the provenance of food and thus helps create trustworthy food supply chains and build trust between producers and consumers. As a trusted way of storing data, it facilitates the use of data-driven technologies to make farming smarter. In addition, jointly used with smart contracts, it allows timely payments between stakeholders that can be triggered by data changes appearing in the blockchain. This article examines the applications of blockchain technology in food supply chains, agricultural insurance, smart farming, transactions of agricultural products for both theoretical and practical perspectives. We also discuss the challenges of recording transactions made by smallholder farmers and creating the ecosystem for utilizing the blockchain technology in the food and agriculture sector.

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