UNDP India’s Accelerator Lab on Monday said it has signed an agreement with the Spices Board India to build a blockchain-based traceability interface for Indian spices to enhance transparency in trading. Under this Memorandum of Understanding, UNDP and Spices Board India are working towards integrating the Blockchain Traceability Interface with e-Spice Bazaar portal developed by Spices Board India for connecting spices farmers with markets, according to a statement.
The design of the blockchain interface is expected to be completed by May 2021, and the project will be piloted with over 3,000 farmers engaged in chilli farming in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, it stated. UNDP India has independently secured support from The Cabinet Office of Japan for this initiative under the Japan SDGs Innovation Challenge, the statement said. Blockchain is a decentralised process of recording transactions on an open and shared electronic ledger. This allows for ease and transparency in data management across a complex network, including farmers, brokers, distributors, processors, retailers, regulators, and consumers, thus simplifying the supply chain.
This blockchain powered platform for Indian spices will enhance the quality assurance of agricultural export commodities. It will also allow farmers just as all other members of the supply chain to access the information, which further makes the entire supply chain more efficient and equitable. We are confident that the blockchain interface will help connect these farmers with international markets and add to their income. The technology can also help in rebuilding pandemic affected supply chains by providing trading partners and consumers with trusted and secured data on goods and transactions, UNDP India Resident Representative Shoko Noda said.
Spices Board India secretary D Sathiyan said the changing order in the global spices and food sector has increased the relevance of infrastructure development for value addition, certification for quality and food safety, promotion of spices highlighting the immunity boosting properties, among others and the Board has been working towards strengthening the Spices value chain in India. “This UNDP-Spices Board joint initiative to build a blockchain-powered traceability interface for Indian spices is another significant milestone in our journey to make the spices value chain efficient, transparent and equitable for all stakeholders. We plan to integrate this blockchain based traceability interface with the e-spice bazaar portal already developed by the Board,” he added.