The UNDP Accelerator Labs India announced that it’s all set to roll out its blockchain for Indian spices in March 2021. It is exploring tie-ups with several partners including the government-run Spices Board of India to help Indian spice farmers benefit from its blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a decentralized process of recording transactions on an open and shared electronic ledger. A data log is created with time stamps in a sequential manner containing all transactions making the process secure, easy to access in real time and is impossible to tamper.
“This will minimize information asymmetry and help farmers seamlessly integrate their production, supply chain and market,” a Lab official said during a virtual press conference recently. This technology will accelerate connectivity with the global markets with the help of e-spices bazaar.
The blockchain project for spices can be replicated for all other Indian commodities. The project is part of the Lab’s mission to institutionalize innovation and achieve deep scale.
With the rising demand from a rapidly growing population and industries, India needs another revolution in agriculture and blockchain could enable that revolution.
Interestingly, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently unveiled the Agriota E-Marketplace, a technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform that uses blockchain to help bridge the gap between rural farmers in India and the UAE’s food industry.
The Agriota platform provides Indian farmers the opportunity to connect directly with food processing companies, traders and wholesalers in the UAE. The platform will offer cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, spices and condiments. The platform is expected to positively impact UAE’s food security. Agriota was jointly developed with CropData Technology, an Indian company whose mission is to help marginal and small farmers.
Database of Rural Innovations
UNDP Accelerator Lab India announced the launch of the first-of-its-kind Grassroot Innovation Database (GRID) to foster inclusive development. The GRID contains 1,500 solutions, ranging from simple to complex in design, which can be implemented at the community level. These innovative solutions have been developed by grass root communities, individuals, start-ups, students and other innovators from various states across India.
The unique database caters to various sectors which include livelihood, natural resource management, agriculture, agro-biodiversity, pest management, water management, farm machinery, biodiversity conservation, augmentation, inclusive growth, waste management, circular economy amongst others.
GRID has been co-created for public use by GIAN [Grassroots Innovation Augmentation Network], Honey Bee Network Institution and UNDP- Accelerator Lab-India. It can be accessed at grid.undp.org.in
At the macro level, GRID demonstrates to the policy makers that there is potential to learn from creative communities and individuals at the micro level, as this encompasses solutions that can be implemented on ground in real time, complemented by the fact that being tried and tested the cost of failure is minimal.
GRID can also be leveraged for setting up distributed enterprises and for catering to the local or niche markets. Some of the innovations may be taken up for pilot experimentation in the next phase by the team, while GIAN has already tested many of them through on-field trials. Prof Anil Gupta, Founder of GIAN said, “Our objective is to give voice, visibility and velocity to the creative and innovative communities and improve their livelihood, conservation of biodiversity and associated knowledge system for inclusive development. Lot of practices in GRID are in DIY mode which can be used by people freely: the grid reaches the poorest with possibility of using knowledge about innovations for augmenting their well-being.”