USDA moves to adopt Blockchain in the Agriculture Industry

United States Department of Agriculture - USDA sees a huge opportunity in adopting blockchain to boost the agriculture industry's supply chain.

By · Aug 19, 2020 . 7min read

Blockchain in the Agriculture

In a recent publication, it appears the United States Department of Agriculture – USDA sees a massive opportunity in adopting blockchain to boost the agriculture industry’s supply chain.

Judging by a publication circulated in the Federal Register, the official journal of the United States federal government, Agriculture Marketing Service – AMS appears to be the section of the USDA spearheading this move.

Consequently, AMS titles the journal piece “National Organic Program; Strengthening Organic Enforcement”. Therefore, seeking to address three key areas, AMS proposes an amendment of the USDA organic regulations.

The amendment bothers on protecting the integrity in the organic supply chain, building consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label. It says this will come “by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations”.

Subsequently, the AMS says it “will continue to work toward its goal of full supply chain traceability and fully verifiable organic products,”. To do this, the USDA agency adds

“AMS expects electronic tracking systems, including digital ledger technology, will play an essential role in supply chain traceability.”

Clearly, from the journal report, AMS sees a huge opportunity in USDA implementing blockchain technology into its agricultural industry supply chain. The report shows AMS acknowledgement of the blockchain’s core features. Areas such as transparency, security and on-demand verifiability of the distributed ledger technology are a good catch.

AMS even buttresses its stance further as to the digital implementation of the DLT for the agricultural supply chain. It notes that there are difficulties in adopting similar technology from just a pilot study to industry standard. However, it is confident that this would be successful. AMS hinges its confidence on past successes of electronic food tracking systems introduced on a large scale.

If USDA successfully implements Blockchain for Agriculture Supply Chain industry, then it would be a huge boost.

The United States government has not been particularly enthusiastic about using blockchain at the federal level. Comparing its approach to its fierce competition – China is abysmal. The latter continues to push its boundaries as to what it can do with DLT. In fact, China even adopts an aggressive approach to this with blockchain solution firms popping everywhere due to public support. Due to this, more than 10,000 new blockchain firms were created in China in 2020 alone.

USDA adopting blockchain for food tracking in the agriculture industry will be a big move by the government. However, it must put its house in order. It will do this by first by setting up regulatory frameworks for the technology to grow and thrive among industries.

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