|Farmers tend to dragon fruit in Châu Thành District, Long An Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Trường Giang|
HCM CITY — Blockchain technology is expected to enhance agricultural exports by providing a global trading identity, speakers at a blockchain conference held in HCM City said yesterday.
Lê Thu Hiền, programme manager for the Asia Foundation Office in Việt Nam, said: “The ‘Empowering Local Agricultural Producers with a Global Trading Identity’ project has established a blockchain-based identity and proof-of-provenance platform that will enhance Việt Nam’s brand, empower small- and medium-sized enterprises, and provide consumers with valuable information from the first mile to the last mile.”
The technology being used is a result of this project, which is under sponsorship of the Australian Embassy to Việt Nam.
Đào Đức Huấn, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development’s Rural Development Centre (RUDEC), noted that today’s consumers want to have safe products and a tracing system for what they buy.
“This consumption trend brings both opportunities for creating brand names and expanding markets, but it also poses investment and technology challenges,” he added.
Việt Nam was the first country to export fresh dragon fruit to Australia (the first batch was sent on September 20, 2017).
A tracing system based on blockchain technology provides consumers with information from production to consumption, all of which is done in real time.
“Việt Nam exported US$36 billion of agricultural products in 2017 with a growth rate of 7-8 per cent per annum to 40 countries and territories, and fresh dragon fruit accounted for over 50 per cent of the country’s total fresh fruit exports,” Hiền said.
A working prototype of a blockchain app was first applied to dragon fruit exports, and will be amenable for other agricultural exports.
The tracing system works this way: A farmer picks up fruit and sells it to a trader, who logs in on a platform and uploads information about the batch of fruit transacted. A transaction and a QR code is generated, which accompanies a batch of fruit until it is on supermarket shelves.
Traders log in on the platform and enter information about the transaction created by the farmer in the previous stage.
Other stakeholders who perform cleaning, packaging and exporting then log in on the platform and upload their information about the previous transaction. – VNS