Blockchain for organic Cambodian rice
In collaboration with Oxfam Novib, cracker producer Sano Rice, rice exporter AmruRice and Reaksmei cooperative, we are working on the development of a blockchain application: BlocRice.
The aim of the project is to empower organic rice farmers in the Cambodian village of Reaksmei, Preah Vihear province. The blockchain application helps to create a transparent value chain and contributes to correct payments to these rice farmers.
We are responsible for the strategy development and implementation of the blockchain part of this project. A mapping has been made of the rice value chain and used as a blueprint for the blockchain application. We also build and implement the blockchain software.
All relevant actors in this rice supply chain, from the farmers to SanoRice, share relevant information on all steps in the value chain, such as the rice planting, the harvest and storage, the manufacturing of rice crackers, but also the related payments. This information is verified and processed in the blockchain application. The data can be entered and read by the supply chain actors themselves via a smartphone app. In our case, the rice farmers hardly have smartphones themselves and use the app on smartphones of the Reaksmei cooperative. An important learning of the project so far is how to provide an electronic identity to rice farmers without smartphone nor email accounts, and how to deal with this (online) identity.
BlocRice is meant to empower farmers to get correct payments for their rice and to ensure that their contracts are complied with. Farmers confirm if they are paid, if the agreed price is paid for their rice, if they are paid on time, if they were able to sell what they supplied, and if other contract conditions are also met. This way, producers can track the origin of the rice which they buy and process, and can check whether farmers were paid correctly according to the contract. Then, they are able to communicate this to consumers.
If the pilot project is successful, it can be scaled up to other farmer cooperatives in the rice chain and other commodity value chains in Cambodia and elsewhere.