Mahindra Agri to do a blockchain shake-up for grape exports

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on December 21, 2018

Ashok Sharma, MD & CEO, Mahindra Agri

In a bid to dispel global concerns over transparency of the supply chain and the overall brand image of Indian grape exports, Mahindra Agri Solutions is introducing blockchain technology in its grape exports business.

“We are the first company in the world to introduce blockchain technology for grapes. This will enable the consumer to be assured that what they are consuming is safe,” Ashok Sharma, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd, told BusinessLine.

Sharma believes that this adoption will be quite disruptive and it will help change the perception of Indian origin fruit or food, adding that that there are very few use cases in India on blockchain technology.

The company will be initially dispatching around 40-50 containers of grapes enabled with blockchain technology, out of the total 800-900 containers to be exported this season, the supply chain for which has already been set up. This number is set to increase post proof of concept. The dispatches will start by January or February and the focus markets for now would be China and Europe.Sharma said Mahindra Agri has been working on how to create a technological differentiation with its customers and how to build the “overall brand image” of Indian exporters and grapes. This accrues from global concerns about the Indian farming practices, what the supply chain is like and questions on how ethical it is, “to the extent that there is an issue on the overall brand image for Indian grapes,” he said.

Calling it a game-changer for the industry, Sharma said the benefit of this adoption of blockchain technology will be in the form of creating an ecosystem which would help track all the details of the entire supply chain with the help of a digital code.

Interl-inking various stakeholders such as the suppliers, importers, customers and farmers, these details will include who the farmer is, the dates of lab-testing and harvesting, the processes involved, the Google map-enabled images of farm/land records, certificates from government-approved agencies and the kind of chemicals used.

Sharma said that the company will be tapping into the internal Mahindra Group expertise to develop this technology.

Published on December 21, 2018

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