Kerala govt to track milk, veggies and fish through blockchain

Kerala govt to track milk, veggies and fish through blockchain
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
18 Jun, 2018

The Kerala government will deploy blockchain for the smooth and efficient running of the purchase and distribution networks related to milk, vegetables and fish, the Press Trust of India reported.

Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) will implement the project, said the report. 

K-DISC had recently launched a programme to train students in blockchain for early-mover advantage, added the report.

The report also added that blockchain will improve Kerala’s crop insurance system, by ensuring quick processing and settlement of claims for farmers. The technology would help avoid lag in the assessment and delivery of compensation to farmers who suffer crop loss due to natural calamities, K-DISC chairman KM Abraham told the Press Trust of India.

The blockchain technology will also help determine if the crop loss was due to natural causes or not.

In the dairy segment, this project will ensure speedy delivery of milk by continuously monitoring its production, procurement and distribution, Abraham was quoted as saying.

He added that each component of the supply network will have a unique ID number, which will check the source and quality of the product at every point on the chain.

New technologies like the Internet of Things and radio-frequency identification tags will be used to monitor trucks and tanks for temperature conditions of products and other parameters.

Apart from dairy, new technologies will also be introduced in vegetables and fish supply. With the help of technology, farms and fish-landing spots will be linked with packaging centres using geo-coded images, the report said.

This will help in continuous monitoring of goods at every point on the chain. The verification of the goods could be done right from the warehouse to the point of sale to the consumer.

Besides Kerala government’s think tank K-DISC, the central government’s top policy think tank Niti Aayog is also interested in blockchain.

Early this month, Niti Aayog identified five areas -- healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure and transport -- where artificial intelligence (AI) could produce huge benefits. The think tank released a discussion paper that showed AI could make healthcare more pocket-friendly for several million citizens in the country. It also suggested the use of AI in agriculture to increase farmers' income and cut down on wastage.

In April, a media report said that Niti Aayog is looking to deploy blockchain to curb fake drugs.

In the same month, Ethereum co-founder's startup ConsenSys signed a nonbinding agreement to make blockchain prototypes for Niti Aayog across healthcare, education, land registry, supply chain, and more. The move came more than one month after ConsenSys signed a nonbinding agreement with the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government for blockchain education. 

In January, Niti Aayog was testing waters to deploy blockchain in education, healthcare and agriculture. The think tank was developing a prototype to take advantage of the new technology in key sectors, a senior government official told The Economic Times on the condition of anonymity.

The think tank, along with blockchain startup Proffer, which was founded by MIT and Harvard graduates, had held a blockchain hackathon from 10 November to 13 November 2017 at IIT Delhi, a report in YourStory had said in November last year.