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Kerala govt to leverage Blockchain tech to streamline purchase, distribution networks

Thiruvananthapuram | Sunday, Jun 17 2018 IST: The Kerala Government has embarked on a strategy to leverage the revolutionary Blockchain technology to streamline the purchase and distribution networks of milk, vegetables and fish in the state.

The state will also make its crop insurance scheme smarter and fool-proof ensuring quick processing and settlement of claims to farmers suffering crop losses.

The country's first such government initiative, the project is being implemented through the Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC), the state's think-tank mandated to formulate and implement path-breaking plans to create a healthy and conducive eco-system with the help of new technologies.

K-DISC recently launched a major programme to train students in Blockchain technology, providing them with the early-mover advantage in this cutting-edge tech system, which has huge job potential in India and abroad.

In the dairy sector, the project will ensure speedy delivery of high quality milk by continuously monitoring production, procurement and distribution through an electronic ledger, said Dr K M Abraham, Chairman, K-DISC.

Each component of the supply network will have a separate ID number, using which the source and quality of the product can be checked at every point of the chain.

New technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) will be employed and RFID Tags and mobile applications will be used to monitor the movement of trucks and refrigerated tanks to make sure that they adhere to fixed parameters like temperature in which the products are to be kept.

Blockchain technology in crop insurance would help avoid time-lag in the assessment and delivery of compensation to farmers who suffer losses due to natural calamities.

It will make the entire processes starting from making applications for coverage to the settlement of claims hassle-free and time-saving.

The new technology will come handy to determine if the crop loss is due to natural causes or not, which, in turn, will avoid unnecessary disputes between insurance firms and beneficiaries besides eliminating the role of middlemen.

The Smart Contact programme of Blockchain will be used for this process, which will eliminate manipulations and distortions, thereby ensuring mutual trust between the insurer and the insured.

Supply of vegetables and fish is a key area where the new technology is to be introduced, where farms and fish-landing spots will be linked with packaging centres using Geo-coded images, with the help of which the content of each packet of the consignment can be weighed and registered in the supply network with QR Code and RFID.

This will enable continuous monitoring and verification of goods at every point of their movement right from the warehouses, wholesale and retail centres up to the point of sale to the consumer.

Application of Blockchain and IoT will immensely help maintain the quality of the products by constantly monitoring the integrity of the logistics involved such as the neatness of trucks used and the temperature at which goods are kept.

Blockchain-based Smart Contact technology can also be used for checking the availability of products, placing purchase orders and maintaining sales registers, which will together create a strong and fool-proof supply network connecting the length and breadth of the state.

Seeking to equip students to tap the immense job opportunities in India and abroad, K-DISC recently launched the Accelerated Blockchain Competency Development (ABCD) project. Details of this can be accessed through 0471-2700813, abcd.kdisc.kerala.gov.in.

UNI DS CS 1700

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