International nonprofit organization Oxfam has announced its cooperation with Cambodian agency Reaksmey Lekkompos Kaksekor to settle rice exports using a blockchain platform. The first shipment was completed in March 2019, with farmers in Cambodia sending rice to buyers in the Netherlands.
According to Beijing-based economics news outlet The Business Times, the BlocRice project utilizes smart contracts operated on a blockchain network. Apart from serving as a database on farmers participating in the project, BlocRice also tracks ongoing deals between farmers and exporters.
Oxfam said that BlocRice, using a smartphone application, increases the chances for farmers to get better prices for their crops. The international NPO added that the project is still being tested and more improvements will be carried out in order to achieve its objectives.
BlocRice was initiated in November 2018. Oxfam announced that by 2022, it expects to expand the project to 5,000 rice farms nationwide.
Cambodia is one of several countries that are slowly embracing blockchain technology. In April, the National Bank of Cambodia issued a statement saying it aims to integrate blockchain technology into the bank’s payment system within 2019.
Experts believe that the distributed ledger technology can be further applied in the agriculture sector to introduce innovation for farmers and traders in areas such as quality assurance and country-of-origin certification. With better support from the Cambodian government and international organizations, farmers in the country will soon be able to export their produce at higher prices and improve their quality of life.
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