Technology Global Food Trends Food Traceability

Will Blockchain Transform Agriculture?

Blockchain is the latest buzzword in many business sectors today, and agriculture is no exception.
A transparent and secure digital ledger system that allows two parties to conduct a transaction without the need for a trusted intermediary, blockchain captured headlines as the digital backbone of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

In recent months it has gained further attention as businesses explore ways to leverage blockchain technology to save money, improve transparency and reduce human error.

As technology pundits speculate on how blockchain will be a game-changer, business leaders are looking for ways to tap into the technology.

“I’m very excited about this,” says Prakash Iyer, Senior Vice President of Software Architecture and Strategy with Trimble Inc. “It’s going to define a whole new paradigm of building applications — not just blockchain applications, but how you apply blockchain to transactional applications, settlement applications or food traceability applications.”

Iyer is leading the charge at Trimble to identify key ways that blockchain can be incorporated into various aspects of the global technology company, which develops transformational technology for sectors such as  construction, geospatial, transportation and agriculture.

He says the real opportunity lies in early development of global industry standards that will guide the long-term adoption of blockchain.

“The way blockchain evolved, there’s really no agreed-upon standard,” Iyer explains. “We could play a leading role by helping to define that standard. It’s about showing thought leadership — because this is not just a technology play, it’s more of a business play, and a collaborative business play.”

The goal would be to create an ecosystem with key industry leaders, including customers and business partners both inside and outside the Trimble fold, to identify challenges and set industry standards.
“Our success will be defined by how well we can collaborate and create that ecosystem of players and bring those people together.”

In addition to leading industry collaboration and standardization around blockchain, Iyer identified two other key areas of focus:

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