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Malaysia plans blockchain deployment to track agri-products chain

According to a recent report, the Penang International Halal Expo and Conference saw Malaysia’s Agricultural Minister announce the idea to incorporate blockchain functionalities in a tracking system, which would improve reliability and control over agricultural products in the country.

Penang’s Chief Minister presented statistics that the country exported roughly US$10 billion worth of Halal products and services in 2017, and concluded that the industry is growing exponentially.

What will blockchain bring?

The Malaysian government is actively seeking to improve the tracking and control over agricultural products, as the industry continues to grow. This is why they decided to aim their focus at the blockchain technology.

According to incorporating, distributed ledger technologies in the official government system will bring security and speed when it comes to tracking products. The main advantages of the technology come from the fact that this system cannot be altered by anyone, thus making it the most secure way to track agricultural and halal products.

In addition, the Minister also said that the technology will certainly come in handy if there is an outbreak of disease as it enhances the tracking and operations of food industries. Food can be tracked from the farms or laboratories to the dining table.

Such global reach will provide the government with raised levels of awareness over the industry. This should, in turn, lead to a higher quality of products and services the Malaysian population receives when it comes to the agriculture industry.

Another article stated that the APAC region has been struggling to keep its big promises of blockchain as a technological solution. But DLT could change this. A local media report stated that decentralized ledger technology (DLT) will enable allow authorities and consumers to map the journey of agri-products from the labs and farms, all the way through to the processing factories and suppliers.

Upon the integration of this blockchain-powered platform, consumers can scan labels on food items to find out where and when it was produced and how it was delivered.

The Minister also believes that the information stored on the decentralized system cannot be altered, which on top of enhancing transparency, will also increase cost-effectiveness by eliminating middle-men.

It is still unclear when the official launch date of the initiative would be, or who the authorities are working with to develop the platform.

Other regions adopting DLT

In other news, Malaysia is not the only country in the region that is exploring blockchain-based solutions to modernize its agriculture sector.

Last month, the Chinese government issued a framework titled Guiding Opinions on Rural Service Revitalization of Financial Services which promotes the adoption of emerging technologies such as blockchain, to improve the identification, monitoring, early warning, and disposal levels of agricultural credit risks.

The guideline that was issued by China’s banking regulatory commission, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, encourages financial service providers to develop specific financial facilities and small payment settlement functions in rural e-commerce.

Authorities in China believe that the integration of blockchain will streamline the collection and sharing of agricultural information, improving customer screening processes, and enhance the credit evaluation of agricultural businesses, while at the same time reducing the risk for creditors.

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