Thursday, 08 August 2019 12:43

How Digital Technologies Can Impact Food Safety In Nigeria Featured

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Co-ops, farmers and agri-food supply chain presently rely on paper-based records, verbal promises and complicated agreements; this frequently causes critical problems due to lack of transparency, restricted access to data or price barriers to this data, graft and corruption. With rapid urbanization, cities need to keep food safety and sustainable food systems planning high on their agenda. Today, half of the world’s population lives within three hours of a small city and town or on only three percent of the Earth’s surface. By 2050, this number is expected to increase to 60 percent. This means that the issues of food safety, food production and distribution will take on even greater importance in strategic discussions on sustainable development and growth. No matter how much our world continues to evolve and challenge us, the greatest danger is that we fail to protect and safeguard our food systems. It is paramount that we find sustainable ways to cultivate, produce and consume safe and healthy foods while preserving our planet’s resources.

In Nigeria, Given the rapidly increasing level of digitalisation and demand for data and product integrity, the agri-food sector in Nigeria is in a unique position to explore the potential of Blockchain. Blockchain can help value chain partners in improving transparency and efficiency of business transactions, compliance processes and tracking and tracing of food products. Although the application of blockchain technology in agri-food is currently still in its embryonic stage, it will be expected that more initiatives will be taken by various governments, agri-food industries and development agencies.

Trust will be the key element in creating a more equal, efficient and robust value chain. Organisations, development agencies and government can support projects like these in Nigeria for greater benefit. Nigerians could potentially flock to solutions such as farmTRUST blockchain to prevent corruption. The use of farmTRUST blockchain in this case is essential, for no intermediary system, both on paper or IT can be tamper free to such a degree that the act of tampering becomes futile. Additionally, since no major party control the chain the government can participate without succumbing to its internal faults.

As a technology, blockchain is still regarded to be in its infancy. The transparency that current blockchain solutions offer is a good start, but agri-food companies are capturing only a small fraction of potential value. As blockchain technology evolves, it has the potential to create disruption across the food value chain. Traditional business models focused on providing value-added products/services in areas of the value chain, which were once considered critical, will likely shift to new forms of collaboration, partnerships, and investments, creating new opportunities to improve product quality and reduce system wide food waste.

Impact indicators: The impact will reflect the overall objective of blockchain technology in food sector.

Increasing the verification of data can thus help to regain the consumer trust in the value chain, thereby increasing its value. El-kanis and Partners farmTRUST blockchain will work with participating food value chain players to determine if additional impact indicators are cross-cutting and thus feasible to collect for the program as a whole.

Purpose: To strengthen the capacity of public and private institutions for the provision of relevant training, applied research and service learning opportunities on blockchain

Primary Goal: Rapid, sustained, and broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector

Secondary Goal: Increase Nigeria public’s understanding of blockchain technology

Given the rapidly increasing level of digitalisation and demand for data and product integrity, the agrifood sector in Nigeria is in a unique position to explore the potential of farmTRUST Blockchain offered by El-kanis and Partners. farmTRUST will help value chain partners in improving transparency and efficiency of business transactions, compliance processes and tracking and tracing of food products and  also help NGOs and impact investors in supporting inclusive business models.

The ability to use modern and innovative supply chain traceability systems can help with several other issues such as food safety and contamination, accurate quantification of volumes of biofortified crops. However, HarvestPlus with The Fork are working to leverage understanding of blockchain techniques and provide leadership in effective ways to commercialize biofortified foods.


  • Feasibility, which is determined by the costs (including minimum required hardware, hosting costs, programming costs etc.) and complexity of the technology;
  • Convenience, which is determined by the availability of software, experience, easy of deployment, etc.;
  • Performance (number of participants allowed, speed and processing time etc.).

The above drawbacks can be mitigated with subsidies and funding from donor agencies, capacity development, product market accessibility which will results in an extreme high efficiency in product development with a minimal risk to failures. El-kanis and Partners in-house architecture creates principles to work from, smaller components to work with and smarter solution that creates reusability. With the exponential penetration of mobile network coverage to rural areas and decline on smartphone cost, blockchain can help more value chain players improve processes and transparency, thus connecting them and addressing food security, food safety, adaptation and resilience.

No system so far, either by paper or in IT has been able to stem the endemic faults in the food value chain. By taking out the intermediaries and outdated systems that are enabling fraud, inefficiency and lack of transparency, farmTRUST blockchain can help supply chain retain bigger share of their products. When such a new system (blockchain) is in place, further steps can be taken to efficiently and accurately distribute safe food resources. This in turn can create a general trust in the system and build a safer food system for our generation.


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Ben Ekanikpong

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