Agri Business

‘Blockchain will help coffee growers fetch better price’

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 28, 2019

Coffee growers in the country will soon have a say in deciding the price for their beans.

A pilot blockchain-based marketplace, essentially an app that helps growers connect to buyers directly, eliminating middlemen, was launched by the Coffee Board on Thursday. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan from New Delhi and Executive Director of the International Coffee Organisation Jose Sette from Nairobi activated the app.

Eka Software, a provider of digital commodity solutions, has developed the blockchain based marketplace, basically an app for the Coffee Board through which growers can directly transact with the buyers.

“Growers will get the power to decide the price for their coffees,” said Coffee Board Chairman, Srivatsa Krishna. The initiative, besides helping fetch a premium, would also help address issues of traceability, transparency in pricing and better price discovery.

The app is currently being piloted with a limited number of growers, roasters, exporters and traders. The pilot will go on for 4-5 months.“If this pilot succeeds, we will cover all the growers,” Krishna said. There are close to 3.5 lakh growers in the country, who produce over 3 lakh tonnes of coffee annually.

A farmer wanting to sell his produce has to register on the app and place his coffees and indicate the expected price in the marketplace. Buyers listed on the marketplace can make bids. If the grower agrees with the price quoted by the buyer, the deal can get concluded.

Right now, the Board has not addressed the logistics bit, Krishna said. However, the Coffee Board will be certifying the coffees placed on the marketplace for sale, Krishna added.

Right now there’s no cost for the grower to sell his coffees through the marketplace. “It depends on the numbers. Our hope is that the transaction cost should come down to below ₹200 per transaction,” Krishna added.

Published on March 28, 2019

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