Farmer distress, unsustainable agricultural practices and climatic stress are disrupting the productive landscapes. Agricultural activities lack transparency and traceability. Yet, there exists an unprecedented opportunity for technology interventions to scale up sustainable and affordable solutions. The data driven agriculture platforms can reach the farmers regardless of their location, connecting them to the best sustainable practices and market linkages at reduced costs.
TraceX is supporting the farmer community with farm level digitization to improve their operational efficiency and achieving an optimized supply chain with the Krishi Mangal project. Under this project, TraceX is working with two farmer- producer organizations (FPOs) in Ramadurga taluk of Belgaum, Karnataka, covering around 1000 farmers who are cultivating maize and pulses.
Lingan Gowda, a farmer in Belgaum says, “The Krishi Mangal-IFHD-TraceX (KMIT) project has enabled us to use household ingredients for pesticide preparation to realise sustainable yields. The training sessions have helped us to adopt sustainable and effective agriculture practices while providing better market linkages”
The story of the KMIT farmer, Anand Bhimappa Lamani.
Anand is a young farming member of Laxmivenkateshwar FPO, Dadibhavi FIG LT3, Belgaum. He holds a total 3.5 acre of farmland in Dadibhavi village, growing various crop based on the season and geographic conditions.
Anand is one of the many farmers who has a number of challenges of under production where they cannot often produce sufficient food to feed their families and earn a decent livelihood. There are many factors that contribute to low yields.
- These farmers predominantly farm rain-fed crops which are cultivated using traditional practices
- They often take land on lease and during harvest, they give the partial produce to the landowner unable to reach the market
- These farmers are unorganized and fragmented and are under-priced at various stages in production
- Crop management is a wary process which needs constant planning and monitoring
- They have limited access to capital and input resources along with low quality inputs.
- The lack of post-harvest processing, storage facilities and marketing linkages makes these farmers sell their produce almost immediately after harvest
- There is a need to collectivize these small and marginal farmers into FPOs to help them get organized.
- Climate change is a major challenge for agriculture, food security and lives of millions of these farmers. The climatic vagaries cause harvest failures, and they cannot cover costs of production. Crop agronomy and tracking sustainable agriculture practices are inevitable.
The stakeholders must help connect farmers to increase their farming capacity to address the supply and demand challenges. The FPOs need to have a cohesive approach with the farmers to achieve enhanced productivity and profitability.
TraceX’s digital platform FOODSIGN has enabled the FPOs to keep a closed loop communication with their farmers during production and sales processes to realize the potential of a federated structure. The training sessions helped them to visualize their crop production and the output yields. The data digitization allows FPOs to connect to the right markets and get their return on investment.
Mallikarjun Patil, Crop Advisory, IFHD working in the Krishi Mangal-IFHD-TraceX (KMIT) project says,” FOODSIGN app provides Crop data and advisory on seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to the farmers. This instant access in the local language helps the farmers to reduce cost of production and realize increased crop yields. The FPOs and farmers benefit by this digital app which provides accurate information starting from pre-sowing, harvest up to the market/buyer reach”
TraceX’s Blockchain platform provides end to end traceability of the supply chain enabling transparency and visibility in the agriculture system. The capturing and tracking of first mile data on real-time basis helps to follow sustainable practices to ensure a quality and safe product to the end consumer.
Farm Management with TraceX
Let us see how the Trace-Farm module works for Anand.
- Anand is onboarded to the TraceX platform with a new digital identity, “KAAL2020418XXX”
- He is able to grow Maize in 3.5 acres and Sorghum in 3 acres across 2 seasons of Kharif and Rabi in 2022 on his land.
- His land is recognized with a defined geo-coordinate globally (Lat: 16.0510; Lon: 75.2898), the crop harvest carrying the origin information
- The crop details are configured through a user-friendly mobile app along with crop advisory via Package of Practices.
- 7 activities are identified and configured with date schedules to carry out the tasks and track them accordingly
- The gunny bags filled with maize derive a unique Batch ID[164146849XXXX]once it is updated on the app.
- These batches ready for the market and sales get a TraceID [164146852XXXX] and QR code that gets tagged to the commodity.
- Anand is ready to make the sales transactions with the local trader.
The Benefits that Anand discovers
- Anand gets a digital identity after he is onboarded to the blockchain platform
- The crop management gets organized and easier to manage
- The Package of practices configured enable him to optimize his crop inputs including pest management, that helps him to plan his future crop activities
- The geo-mapping of his land validates the origin of what he is growing helping in establishing provenance and proving sustainability claims.
- The produce is tagged with Batch IDs that help in keeping track of batches in the event of food hazards or contamination. Product recalls can be efficiently managed with low downtimes
- The Trace ID brings in a unique digital identity to the final product that helps to validate its authenticity.
- The QR code finally recreates the farm to fork story of the crop grown ensuring transparency and a trustworthy product to the end consumer.
Anand Bhimappa Lamani, today has a greater clarity on his crop management and yields. He is able to visualize the expenses incurred and the sales he has realized with the profit margins. It gives Anand a sense of satisfaction that he has got a return on his investment with all fairness and transparency with this digital traceability system.
Win- Win for all …
The TraceX solutions brings all the stakeholders in the maize supply chain on to a collaborative platform to improve the productivity and profitability of farmers and strengthen the sustainable supply chain. The technology edge helps to combine both Agri- expertise and business perspective to assess markets, analyse supply chains and pilot new ventures. The KMIT project has leveraged these benefits to guarantee sustainable livelihoods for thousands of farmers in Belgaum district
The Way ahead…
The sustainable agriculture practices adopted is being linked with Carbon finance program to fund practices leading to carbon sequestration. There is also a plan to work with resource institutions like IFHD to find additional market linkages for an extended reach. There is also a need to train the FPOs in a different perspective of understanding quality and business needs. Additional facilities in terms of warehousing, infrastructure and financial support to the FPOs is also being planned