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Blockchain-Powered Traceability Crucial For Sustainable And Climate Resilient Food Production Practices

Co-founders of TraceX share their thoughts on how application of blockchain can remove the inefficiencies in supply chains across India and the world

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TraceX Technologies co-founders Anil Nadig and Srivatsa Sreenivasarao (L to R)

BW Businessworld recently interviewed the visionary co-founders of TraceX Technologies, Srivatsa Sreenivasarao (CEO) and Anil Nadig, to understand the inefficiencies involved in current supply chains and the issues that need to be worked upon to make them future-ready by leveraging blockchain. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.


What are the pain points in the Indian supply chain currently? What effort would it take to solve these issues? 

Anil Nadig: Of the 1.3 billion people living in India, 48 per cent are dependent on agriculture. India's agricultural sector contributed more than Rs 5.6 trillion to the country’s GDP in the second quarter of 2021.

Indian farmers face many challenges, primarily the stress on land, water and soil health. The lack of knowledge on high value products, limited exposure to better yield practices, inefficient supply chains with high levels of food insecurity, food wastage, weak market linkages and vulnerability to climatic risks are few of the challenges that plague today’s supply chains. 

Globalisation and the shift in consumer’s buying trends have made the food supply chain more complex and susceptible to many risks. The absence of visibility and end-to-end traceability has resulted in mistrust among the stakeholders in the supply chain, making it vulnerable and weak. 

Technology interventions in agriculture supply chain management is a necessity, and traceability is the need of the hour. It improves crop production, brings transparency, and streamlines the whole process. Blockchain technology can help build a robust and resilient supply chain. Digitization and data analytics will play a critical role in building supply chains for the future. A collaborative platform to exchange data securely on a real-time basis will provide the necessary trust and accountability in the system. Traceability will pave the way for the adoption of sustainable and climate resilient food production practices. 

Could you tell us how your solutions help enhance productivity in agriculture? 

Srivatsa Sreenivasarao: Over the last few decades, food and agriculture supply chains have been disrupted due to growing population, globalisation, urbanisation, and increasing health consciousness among consumers. The food produced by our farmers travels miles before it reaches consumer’s plates. Food supply chain is vulnerable to a number of risks, including climate changes and biodiversity losses. 

In order to feed the growing population, we need technological innovations in agricultural processes to make it productive and profitable to the smallholder farmers. The Sustainable Development Goals provide a vision for global development, and technology can accelerate this process. Blockchain powered traceability solutions are a game changer in the field of agriculture. 

TraceX, a blockchain-based SaaS platform, is a digital traceability solution that builds transparency and sustainability into the food and agriculture supply chains.  It helps in creating connected and traceable supply chains to provide accountability and transparency for every stakeholder in the supply chain. TraceX's blockchain-enabled proprietary platform digitises the supply chain from start to end.  All the stakeholders in the supply chain can add, view, and exchange data in real time. The data collected acts as a single source of truth that cannot be altered or tampered with.

TraceX’s Farm and Crop management Pre-harvest module captures real-time data right from the sourcing of raw materials, input usage, sustainable practices, and much more on a shared collaborative multi-stakeholder platform. It also ensures quality and a highly productive yield, thereby enhancing profitability and assurance of a fair price to all the stakeholders. 

The Post-harvest module captures and streamlines the production processes, inventory and batch management, and boosts operational efficiency. It reduces losses due to wastage and provides better insights for stakeholders to make informed decisions. 

How can blockchain in supply chains maximise business value in the long term? 

Anil Nadig: Blockchain provides traceability, decentralisation and security of food data. It creates a transparent environment with inbuilt trust and accountability. The ‘Track and Trace’ systems along with captured immutable data addresses problems due to food fraud, food safety, supply chain inefficiency, and food wastage. It allows companies to certify fair trade origin of practices and also helps in tracking the sustainable practices followed in the supply chain. 

Better and reliable data helps to optimise business decisions and reach higher standards of efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. An estimate by the Food Marketing Institute and US based Grocery Manufacturers Association indicates that food companies incur close to USD 10 million every year on food recall costs, in addition to damage to their brand image and consumer trust. Traceability in the food and agri-supply can address all the above mentioned challenges. It can reduce food wastage, avoid contamination, improve consumer engagement and trust, and help businesses minimise losses due to product recalls. Consumer awareness of safe food products is expanding, as is demand for healthy and ethically sourced products. Emphasis on supply chain transparency and traceability is evolving from "nice-to-have" to "must-have” for food and agri-businesses. 

The ‘farm to fork’ story of the product builds trust and greater engagement among consumers. Validity to product claims and traceable products helps businesses to achieve product premiums in the market. Each participant in the supply chain can be incentivised to provide critical and accurate data thereby reducing inefficiencies and meeting consumer driven transparency and sustainability goals.