Walmart to Procure Agri Produce in India Using Blockchain

Walmart to Procure Agri Produce in India Using Blockchain

By Jagdish Kumar

In order to move towards efficient delivery system, US based retail giant, Walmart will be using blockchain technology for procuring farm produce in Uttar Pradesh state, according to a statement.

By using blockchain, the company intends to streamline procurement process and to check that farmers are getting paid directly and no middleman is involved.

The company said that they will be implementing this in a pilot project in a state where the population is around 212 million and after the success other states will also be included.

Walmart recently opened second business-to-business (B2B) Fulfilment Centre (FC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, after the first one opened in Bhiwandi near Mumbai in November 2017.

FC will cater to the business needs of underserved small businesses such as kiranas/resellers, offices & institutions (O&I) and hotels, restaurants and caterers (HORECA), the company said in a statement.

Walmart India president Krish Iyer said blockchain project will help the company to integrate more farmers to its systems and ensure lucrative prices for agri commodities coming to its platform.

With this, Walmart intends to connect over 100,000 famers in India.

Currently, agri produce accounts for nearly 20 percent of Walmart’s total procurement in India, with almost 100,000 farmers linked in its backend value chain.

The company is bullish on farm produce segment and remain committed to giving decent prices to farmers, prompt payments, transparent weighing mechanism and procuring even at the end of the marketing season, Iyer added.

Walmart India currently operates 21 cash and carry stores across 19 cities is looking to add 29 stores by 2020 across smaller towns such as Ghaziabad, Muradabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Saharanpur, Aligarh and Gorakhpur.

Walmart is not the only one implementing Blockchain in farming sector.

In December 2017, Unilever has launched a one-year pilot project that leverages blockchain technology to manage transactions on its tea supply chain.

The company is partnering with big banks and technology start-ups to track 10,000 tea farmers in Malawi, who supply tea for Unilever brands.

The company’s decision to build partnerships in Malawi gives Unilever additional presence on the African continent. It already owns tea estates in Kenya and Tanzania and has hundreds of factories, sites and distributions centres in 67 countries.

Underlining the importance of blockchain in agriculture sector, a paper titled ‘Protecting Farmers in Emerging Markets with Blockchain’ says that with growing concerns around climate change and economic uncertainty, there is a greater need for platforms that protect farmers from volatility yet also protect the environment from anthropogenic destruction and blockchain technology possesses a potential solution that can sustainably unlock greater agency for farmers.

Agriculture is a major economic driver in emerging markets, contributing 11% to GDP versus only 2% in developed economies. This growth is due to smallholder farmers, who represent up to 80% of the food supply in Sub Saharan Africa and Asia.

With rapid population growth, agricultural market of developed countries is around $515 billion, compared to $2.4 trillion in emerging markets.

Brought to you in partnership with BlockAsia, where the story was first published.