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IBM is Piloting Its New Blockchain Farming App in Kenya

IBM is Piloting Its New Blockchain Farming App in Kenya
Technology giant IBM has partnered with Nigerian agri-tech startup Hello Tractor to launch a new blockchain farming app that is being piloted in Kenya.
From Farm to Fork
According to Solomon Assefa, the VP of emerging market solutions and director at IBM Research, their intention is to leverage the tool for digitisation, optimisation and streamlining agricultural business processes. They want to create efficiencies as well as new services from farm to fork not only in Africa but around the world.
IBM’s main aim for developing the application was to make the current time-consuming food supply chain processes more efficient.
Assefa says that in sub-Saharan Africa, over 60 percent of the total crops were managed manually and a mere 20 percent used tractors. This he said, was unsustainable due to the increased demand for food in a rapidly growing population. He added that about half the farmers would incur losses post-harvest every year because of poor planting practices.
Nairobi, Kenya is the base where IBM’s research and development department is working on the technology. IBM’s research scientists are reportedly working to integrate different technologies into the mobile app, such as the  Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture , the blockchain, IoT and IBM’s cloud.
What Does the App Do?
“[The platform] enables capturing, tracking, and instant sharing of data while creating end-to-end trust and transparency for all the parties involved across the agribusiness value chain,” said Assefa.
The project also hopes to include key players in the agricultural industries, including farmers, tractor fleet owners, financial institutions, and governing bodies, among others.
The pilot testing phase of the blockchain farming app will take place during the first half of 2019. After the initial pilot in Kenya, IBM expects to expand the offering to Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania. However, IBM did not specify any timeframes of when this will take place.
This is one of many blockchain projects IBM  is involved in on the African continent as part of IBM’s focus on positioning itself as a global leader in blockchain solutions.
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