Let’s consider blockchain technology as an application at the first stage. The technology in question makes use of artificial intelligence, image processing possibilities of a large number of data and a unique serial database technique. Readers may have heard of “bitcoin” system, which does not require a centralized management and where data is stored in many different networks. Blockchain, which does not allow editing in old data, is a digital registry that provides sequencing of transactions and provides encrypted transaction tracking, although it is unlike a known database. Therefore, it is a transparent and reliable system. The use of practices ranging from banking to insurance, from logistics to land transactions. Its agricultural use has not yet become widespread.
The satisfaction level of consumers with the product purchased has always been different. This difference becomes more prominent in the agricultural products that make up our food. Let’s try to make a default process chain sequence for the chicken bought from the market: the feed it eats without mentioning its genetics, vaccine, antibiotic application, slaughter age, some operations performed at the slaughter stage, details about the packaging, warehouse-related time, temperature, etc. Wouldn’t we want details of dozens of processes such as shelf life to be written on a label? Or how about reaching the said information with a QR scan? Many of us remember that in the years following the incidents of mixing horse meat with beef in the EU in 2015, dozens of products were taken off the shelves due to salmonella and echeriha coli. The knowledge of whether the weedkiller roundup (glyphosate-based) is used during the growing period of any plant has gained more importance after this herbicide was accepted as a carcinogen in the EU and its use was banned.
In short, consumers no longer rely on the origin of their food or its supply chain. Certificates are often suspect, supply chain members are unknown, frauds cannot be exposed, labels are not satisfactory and transparent. Therefore, many consumers prefer to choose locally grown products.
So how can we save the consumer from this chaos? By providing transparency in the procurement process of the products from the field to the market shelves! It is realized with BLOCKCHAIN technology.
We witness that a blockchain application launched in Turkey can be traced in the retail sector with agricultural products and all records, genealogy-registers. With this blockchain application, the company aimed to reduce costs and prevent food waste, which is very important for our society, while optimizing the supply chain. It can be expected that it will increase its competitive power with the product transparency it offers to its customers. With a last version of mobile application can be traced, all the processes of 750 fruits and vegetables passing from the field to the market shelves
It can be said that agriculture will also be the answer to the question in which sector will blockchain applications be used more. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry needed a labeling and consumer information regulation “… to determine the rules for the high level of protection of consumers in terms of information about food”. The feasibility of this with a physical label is questionable. However, with the blockchain application, the consumer will get the following advantages:
• How a food crop is grown, what kind of soil and fertilizer application is made for crops; information on which feed the animals are fed in which breeding environment can be accessed;
• It is easy to learn what changes the products have made in the processing phase and the storage conditions at all stopping points in the supply chain;
• Movement information on the State Register System and quality control records, if available, can be learned with absolute accuracy;
• The possibility of deactivating some intermediaries may cause a decrease in food costs,
• It will provide more confidence to food producers and suppliers, as malicious certification and labeling can be eliminated.
In summary, blockchain application can reduce food waste and food fraud, prevent mislabeling, disable fraudulent intermediaries and enable producers to get the money they deserve, only in the food chain.
Note: This article is an extended version of a summary published at http://blog.milliyet.com.tr/tarimda-blockchain-kullanimi/Blog/?BlogNo=626740.