Indian Coffee Board has launched a pilot project for online marketing of coffee that would integrate farmers with market in a transparent manner. Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan, launched the blockchain-based coffee e-marketplace through video conferencing in New Delhi on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, the commerce secretary said the pilot project will help integrate the farmers with markets in a transparent manner and lead to realisation of fair price for the coffee producer. The blockchain, he said, will also reduce the number of layers between coffee growers and buyers and help farmers double their income.
The project was activated simultaneously by Jose Dauster Sette, executive director, International Coffee Organisation (ICO) from Nairobi, Kenya at a function in the presence of India’s High Commissioner to Kenya Rahul Chhabria.
India is the only country in the world where entire coffee is grown under shade, handpicked and sun dried. It produces one of the best coffees in the world, produced by small coffee growers, tribal farmers adjacent to national parks and wild life sanctuaries in the Western and Eastern Ghats, which are two of the major bio-diversity hot spots in the world. Indian coffee is highly valued in the world market and sold as premium coffees. The share of farmers in the final returns from coffee is very meagre.
Blockchain based market place app while bringing transparency in the trade of Indian coffee, maintain the traceability of Indian coffee from bean to cup so as the consumer tastes real Indian coffee and the grower is paid fairly for his coffee produced. This initiative will help in creating a brand image for Indian Coffee through traceability in reducing growers dependency an intermediaries by having a direct access to buyers for a fair price for their produce, in finding right coffee suppliers for exporters and within the stipulated time to meet the growing demands and in building a better trust and long term relationship due to increased visibility towards the traceability and transparency of the produce.
Coffee Board is collaborating with Eka Plus, one of the global leaders in Digital Commodity Management platforms for agriculture for development of blockchain-based marketplace application. Eka Plus have developed the application and a group of 15-20 coffee farmers, exporters, roasters, importers and retailers are already registered on the platform from India and abroad. It is one of the few coffee blockchain processor for coffee after France and Ethiopia in the world.
The stakeholder like coffee farmers, traders, coffee curers, exporters, rosters, importers and retailers register on the platform to make trade transactions. The coffee farmer registers credentials like place where coffee is grown, details of the crop, elevation, certificates if any and any relevant information. A block is created for each of the lot the farmer sells on the blockchain. The credentials of the block/ lot will be stored on the blockchain throughout its journey and are immutable.