BlockChain For Livelihoods From Organic Cambodian Rice (BlocRice) Project

DPA with farmers and export company, check paddy rice

Oxfam's partner, Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) worked with farmers and export company to check the paddy rice before transporting to the company's warehouse. Photo: DPA

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Context

This project of Oxfam in Cambodia works with small-scale rice farmers in Preah Vihear province, Central North of Cambodia. These farmers produce organic rice. Their average land size is between 1 to 2 hectares and they produce on average 2.5 to 3 tonnes of organic rice per year.

These groups of farmers lack power and information for negotiating with middlemen, traders and companies on price and other conditions, especially for export-oriented organic rice. Farmers are usually under pressure to sell off their product as they have to repay their high-interest loans.

The project analyses and tests how these farmers can be strengthened by having up-to-date information and value distribution in their supply chain. We expect to empower them in their price negotiations and in finding buyers. The project introduces cashless payments to the farmers. This form of payment requires a digital platform like blockchain technology, which is a web-ledger. This technology enables stakeholders like bank and cooperatives to access and exchange information.

The project aims to test blockchain technology and its smart contracts, a digital 3-way contract farming arrangement between primary producer, Cambodian rice exporter and retailer in Europe, to improve farmers’ livelihood and their supply conditions. The BlocRice application (app) focuses on transparency and traceability by using the blockchain technology by implementing smart contract as a tool and interactive consumer communication apps for trackability.

Approach

The project tests the application of blockchain technology in the rice value chain along with:

  • Smart contracts
  • Cashless payments to rice farmers
  • Consumer communication

To properly test the blockchain concept and applications in practice, this project focuses on:

  • Introduce blockchain technology to the organic rice value chain by registering all chain actors with unique identification codes on blockchain.
  • Introduce smart (fair trade) contracts between farmers, their agricultural cooperatives and export companies to ensure proper (decent income for women’s farmers labor) payments and transparency.
  • Introduce cashless payments to farmers based upon digital acceptance of delivery and through bank accounts with bank for agricultural cooperative members.
  • Design a consumer communication component from Cambodian producers to the consumers.

 

Below is a 2min video explaining about BlockChain