Oxfam has launched a blockchain project for farmers dubbed BloCRice, which seeks to increase the bargaining power of farmers by digitally connecting every player in the supply chain on one platform, local Cambodian news outlet reports.
Based on the report, the new platform will leverage on smart contracts to build digital agreements between organic farmers and exporters of rice in Cambodia and their buyers in the Netherlands.
Solinn Lim, country director of International charity Oxfam in Cambodia, was quoted by the news outlet saying:
“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers.”
The blockchain platform, which is still in the pilot phase, is being implemented in partnership with organic farmers in Preah Vihrear province, which forms part of the country’s international borders with Thailand and Laos. Popular Dutch rice cracker manufacturer SanoRice will also participate in the pilot phase, the outlet noted.
According to a brochure from Oxfam, BloCRice will bring increased automation and visibility to individual farmers, which should allow them to set higher prices for their produce.
“All actors, from the agricultural cooperatives up to SanoRice, will have a shared, digital contract. During the process, from planting to the manufacturing of rice crackers, the chain actors will share information with each other through their shared database powered by blockchain,” Solin went on further to add.
Oxfam is also working with local Acleda bank to introduce cashless payments services to farmers so they can transact faster than they currently do.
Earlier this year, Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial partnered with Wuchang municipal government in China to use blockchain to stop counterfeit rice from entering the local market. The blockchain was also used to shorten the timeline for the distribution of Wuchang Rice across the country, “shortening the original delivery time of 3-7 days to less than 2 days,” a local Chinese news outlet had stated.