Know what blockchains are? No, you don’t put them on tires to improve traction, or use them to pull your truck out of the mud. Blockchains are nothing you can see, smell or taste, unless you’re a computer.
Simply put, blockchains are shared, traceable and transparent ledgers for record keeping. They capture information for each transaction in a supply chain, agreed upon by each of the business network members and made permanent once consensus is reached among those chain members. People can understand what’s happening in the chain of transactions, but not the individual actors who are making it happen.
Seems a little ‘out there’ for most farmers, but blockchains could transform the security, safety and efficiency of our food system.
“Blockchain is one of the most exciting digital technologies. It’s also one of the most difficult to get your head around,” says Aidan Connolly, chief innovation officer and vice president of corporate accounts at Alltech. He says there are tremendous applications for agriculture, with the biggest being food security. “As farmers, we have not typically liked people to know, for example, where our livestock come from. At the same time, when there is a disease outbreak, we want to be able to trace it back.” He says blockchain technology can enhance security while protecting the players.
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