Blockchain Helps Indian Coffee Farmers


November 14, 2019 10:07 pm

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In March 2019, the Coffee Board of India (CBoI) launched a blockchain-based platform for farmers. The platform was not quite popular in the beginning and did not do well as it had only 23 registered, and just 100 tonnes of India’s 0.32 million tonnes of coffee produced in 2018-19 was sold via the platform.

The response was probably dull due to the coffee season, which starts from November and lasts till March. However, by October-end, about 30,000 farmers have registered on the e-market platform.

YB Venkat Reddy, technology officer at CBoI said:

“There is a huge global market for Indian coffee. We are pushing farmers to join the platform so that they get better rates for their produce. Blockchain technology will help in this.”

For the first time, a government agency in India is using blockchain technology in the Coffee field. Bengaluru-based Eka Software Solutions has developed the web portal and the mobile app for CBoI.

Shuchi Nijhawan, vice-president, New Business and Global Human Relations, Eka Software Solutions said:

“Blockchain offers unmatched traceability and increases the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of the coffee supply chain.”

Farmers, exporters, curers, roasters and international buyers can register and trade. The registration is complete only after a CBoI official verifies the details of the participants. Once this information is recorded, it cannot be fudged because of blockchain technology.

Mohan Kumar, who has a 60-hectare coffee estate in Haskavalli village of Karnataka’s Hassan district said:

“It would help if the government can insure the trade, there have been instances of coffee curers storing coffee on behalf of farmers, then selling it and not giving any money to the farmers. If there is insurance, we could feel comfortable going online. The prices too fluctuate, sometimes by as much as R50 per kg, which could hit either the buyer or the farmer. In such scenarios to some sort of guarantee would help.”

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