Oxfam Launches New BlocRice Blockchain System To Help Cambodian Rice Farmers

Oxfam Launches New Blockchain System To Help Farmers In Cambodia

Oxfam, a global charity organization, decided to launch a blockchain pilot project that aims at improving the conditions of Cambodian rice farmers. The information was released by Khmer Times, a local news outlet, that explains how the project will be carried out.

Oxfam International is a confederation of organizations that work together with local communities with the intention to mobilize the poorest people and fight against poverty.

This time, the intention is to create a blockchain system that would increase farmers’ bargaining power in negotiations with buyers. The project is known as BlocRice and will also allow farmers to be connected with every single actor and participant in the supply chain.

The pilot project started earlier this year in April and will be carried out until March 2019. Solinn Lim, the country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, explained that farmers will improve their bargaining power. Using smart contracts in a blockchain-based system, buyers in the Netherlands, farmers and rice exporters in Cambodia will be connected at all times.

About this implementation and project, Solinn Lim commented:

“BlocRice promotes the use of such digital contracts as tools for social and economic empowerment. The application of blockchain technology is expected to enhance the negotiation power of small-scale farmers in their rice value chains, who are usually poor primary producers.”

At the moment, the implementation is being tested in the Preah Vihear province. If the pilot provides good results, it might be possible to start a bigger project with other products and farmers. This could include organic cassava, pepper and cashew nuts.

SanoRice, a Dutch rice cracker manufacturer, will be using the rice provided by Cambodian farmers so as to produce their products. With this implementation, farmers will also be receiving cashless payments to their bank accounts provided by Acleda bank. This is very important since banking institutions tend to leave poorer individuals out of the whole financial system.

Song Saran, the CEO of the Amru, a rice company that is involved in the BlocRice project, said that this pilot will be increasing transparency, traceability, fairness and trust in the whole supply chain. Furthermore, the livelihoods of farmers will also improve over time.

This is not the first time that blockchain technology is applied in the supply chain industry. There are different companies that are working with blockchain technology. In China, JD.com, has decided to start a blockchain project to track the products that the company sells on its retail stores.

With distributed ledger technology it is possible to track, in an easy way, shipments of goods and items from one place to another.

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