3) Controlling weather crisis
Farmers usually faces the problem of unpredictable weather conditions for the different crops. For survival of crop weather conditions monitoring and predicting are essential. It would be a game changer if, farmers could know at what conditions their crop went wrong. To gain the transparency and traceability in such blockchain has ability to do. Block chain can do in 3 simple steps:
- Blockchain receiving essential information from agricultural weather stations.
Air temperature, Soil temperature at different heights, Wind speed, Rainfall,
Relative humidity, Wind direction, Atmospheric pressure, Solar radiation and Leaf wetness are few parameters that must be measured, recorded and saved in blockchain. The information must be accessed by farmers transparently.
- Farmers take preventive measures
The data generated by weather station and saved by blockchain would help farmers to analyse. Which would helpful further in decision making related to farming. For example, If the soil temperature is known, farmers can maintain the temperature by irrigation and similarly could predict rainfall that would be helpful to get prepare for coming rainfall.
Objective 2: To know other technologies used for farm traceability.
Biosensors are analytical device that converts biological reaction in to electrical signals. It creates discrete or continuous electronic signals which are proportional to as single analyte or related group of analytes. The main feature of biosensors are stability, cost, sensitivity and reproducibility.
Agriculture today includes production of crops and livestock producing different products which are part of daily lives. Some natural threats like pests and diseases causes loss in profits of farmers. To increase profits, decrease in such natural threats is necessary. Biosensors can hence play an important role in rapid and specific detection.
In the agri-food industry, biosensors have been useful to assess the freshness of raw materials such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. In these cases, biosensors detect compounds that provide abnormal flavours and aromas, indicating microbial growth and food safety problems. Pesticides, fertilizers, and heavy metals can be quickly detected in small quantities with biosensors.
2)RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
RFID technology identifies object by radio frequency without coming in contact. These are really small computer chips that will allow consumers to track individual products. It can also be called as “Tagging technology”. It is applied in many industries nowadays including Traffic supervising, security supervising and more. Tracing of farm can be lot easier with RFID technology that consist of farm monitoring system and also livestock monitoring using wireless sensor networks. This method can be easy to carry out for farmers to protect their crops. RFID provides:
o Field data capturing o Entrances and Camera Control o Management of Pre-Calibrated goods o Warehouse management o Traceability Forward and Backward Advantages of RFID:
- Tags can be used in order to store data such as temperature, moisture, weight, date of harvest, field of harvest, etc.
- Can work without any contact
- Data collection is also possible in greenhouses. Measure and record growth time, moisture content, equipment management and even personnel management.
Limitations of RFID:
- It also studies plant pathologies such as viruses or phytoplasma monitoring – Encryption of data is expensive.
- Cost of RFID is higher than other alternatives.
Objective 3: To study business opportunities in farm traceability.
Traceability is not an option anymore for the businesses emerging in agriculture. For being the best business in market have to get updated regarding the customer desires and wants. Technologies emerging should be used by the businesses to gain more profits and customer satisfaction. Traceability is used in many sectors in order to keep customer updated about the products they wish to buy. There are many companies and apps that provides traceability feature.
Agriculture being the source of livelihood must be taken special care. Usage of traceability in agriculture sector could help farmers, middleman as well as customers. Due to the pandemic crisis people are understanding the value of agriculture and its produce. Agriculture start-ups and businesses are boosting in India nowadays. With rise in start-ups are many business opportunities that are arising with farm traceability.
1. Customer Satisfaction
People today look for security in each and every little thing they buy. Safety being the customers priority firms must also take safety as their priority. For a business to run in long-run, customer retention is the key which mainly comes from customer satisfaction and stand up on their expectations. Traceability is the thing which provides customer every data which they wish to know even after usage of the product. Traceability is the only way businesses can gain maximum customer and retain them.
For example, if a person gets food product of particular brand which provides them to access even the farm where it was grown, definitely customers would prefer it over any other brand who just gives labelling for the same price.
2. Optimise and manage supply chain
Getting the supply chain transparent could help the businesses in cost reduction and effective management of the distribution. Tracing the distribution vehicles and all other steps involved could be great for agribusiness to grow.
- Easy market access:
Due to high risk in transport various countries denies to accept product or experience huge risk in getting better quality. Getting traceability feature businesses could ensure the quality and customers could trace the quality at different stages too. The problems arises when consumers demand distinct qualities like Location, organic nature, etc. which could be possible by traceability. Most countries are readily opting for organic produce which needs assurance on safety. Hence, traceability gives more vast market to deal with.
4. Risk monitoring
Enabling agribusinesses to implement such technology can help them to avoid:
o risk of quality issues o contamination o disease outbreak in products o Stock wastage
5. Better Price
Farmers growing the crop aren’t getting right prices for the produce due to unpredictable weather conditions or not knowing preventive measures. Through traceability knowing of weather conditions is possible which encourages farmers to take measures in order to prevent crop from damage. Also, farmers can store information on at what conditions were crop spoil and based on that can prevent such circumstances. This would result in better quality and ultimately in getting better price to the farmers.
6. Inventory management
Agri-commodities are perishable in nature. Hence, storing them for longer period of time causes quality deterioration or spoilage. This causes agribusinesses in losses. By adopting traceability for farm to fork agribusiness can easily manage inventory stocks and get updates on quality issues as well.
Agribusiness requires more care when compared to other business due to products being perishable in nature. Agribusiness are getting more high-tech due to the situation in the last few years. To sustain in market, businesses must adopt technologies to gain more customer and to retain them. Traceability and transparency can make businesses boost to greater heights. In this study, various methods by which traceability can be carried out is explored. It includes Blockchain being the most widely used method since it is cheaper than other methods and will be also beneficial to every person involved in the process. Block chain can be used in crop production, supply chain management and weather crisis. Secondly, Biosensors that helps in traceability by converting biological reactions in to electronic signals. Hence, any spoilage, contamination, etc can be known in order to avoid shipping them further. Lastly, RFID (radio frequency identification) is a technology that helps in tracing without coming into contact with the produce. It uses a computer chip or tags that can be traced. With all the technologies available, traceability agribusiness can evolve with many opportunities in the market. Business opportunities such as better market access, customer satisfaction increases, supply chain management and inventory management. Future modification can help it grow more and get more specific with the technologies help agribusinesses.
We will continue our research work further to other crops too and will keep on posting our findings as well.