About this Research Topic
Blockchain technology has been considered highly relevant to the agricultural sector in addressing issues such as transparency and food integrity. The last years have seen many attempts to apply this technology in the food and agriculture sectors. It is believed that blockchain can make food product and transactions traceable and auditable through supply chains by assigning unique and immutable digital identifiers to them. This will then ensure compliance of food production to food safety, environmental and social standards. Improved transparency and traceability can also help to prevent food waste, guide the distribution of surplus food to those who need it and allow businesses and consumers to work out the ecological footprint of their food. Food security could benefit from the transparency, relatively low transaction costs and instantaneous data sharing that the technology enables. Blockchain technologies and smart contracts can largely improve the claims processing system in agricultural insurance industry. They therefore greatly mitigate the volatility of running an agricultural business due to unexpected weather. As digital technologies are increasingly used to manage farms, blockchain will facilitate the sharing of on-farm data, which supports the development of data-driven technologies in smart farming.
There are also many challenges to the use of blockchain technology, reflecting issues concerning both the social and business implications of the architectures, and cost benefit limitations due to the complexity of the technology. Research is needed into the real world potential of the technology bearing in mind business requirements and regulatory constraints.
The aim of this special issue is to gather latest research results concerning blockchain technology and its application in the food and agriculture sectors, such as the ones previously listed. Researchers, experts, and scholars from both industry and academia are encouraged to present their recent results and research directions in this area. Both theoretical and experimental submissions are encouraged. Studies on the real-world application of blockchain technologies as solutions to sustainable or smart agriculture are especially welcomed.
Keywords: smart agriculture, blockchain, sustainable agriculture, food supply chain, food safety
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