Aug. 1, 2019
To protect the interest of the Punjab farmers and uphold the state’s leadership position as the largest potato seed producing state in India, Punjab is planning the certification and traceability of seed potato using blockchain technology as of next year.
To protect the interest of the Punjab farmers and uphold the state’s leadership position as the largest potato seed producing state in India, the Department of Agriculture and Welfare, Government of Punjab is planning the certification and traceability of seed potato to ensure optimum transparency.
Potato growers in domestic and international market will be able to differentiate Punjab’s potato from other states, as Punjab Agri Export Corporation (PAGREXCO) will deploy blockchain technology to undertake certification and traceability of seed potato right from nucleus to seed level (harvest) with the help of technology partner Cropin Technology Solutions — a Bengaluru-based company.
By leveraging blockchain technology, the potato farmers would be able to trace the origin of the seeds they buy. Using technologies such as barcode and QR code, the software solution will allow the farmers to cross check whether they are buying the genuine seeds hailing from Punjab or not.
Punjab produces around 27 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes annually and supplies around 60-70% seed potato to domestic markets.
Kahan Singh Pannu, Secretary, Agriculture, Punjab:
“This initiative will not only protect the interest of Punjab farmers with better realisations but will also uphold the state’s leadership position as the largest potato seed producing state.”
PAGREXCO has been appointed outsourcing agency for undertaking traceability based seed potato certification through IT software.
Under the project, the quality of seeds would be checked before sowing and will also be geo-tagged. The main objective of geo-tagging is to check falsification of plantation claims. Officials said regular inspection of the field will be undertaken to keep a check on the inputs and disease.
To start with, the farmers’ data base will be digitised besides providing them access to technical knowhow on crop planning and management, inputs, credit, post-harvest management, value addition, and improved market linkages.
The centralised platform would also help in capturing all relevant information through a simple mobile application and give dashboard-based insights on the data captured thereby ensuring traceability of the entire value chain.
Manjit Brar, managing director, Punjab Agri Export Corporation:
“Our initiative has been designed with the sole intention of protecting our farmers from further financial loss.”
“We are confident that our efforts coupled with the smart use of technology can successfully stop the miscreants from their devious intentions.”
“We will ensure that this seed potato traceability and certification system is implemented from the coming potato season. The entire process will be managed through software and the certifying authority will do the due certification through the software only so that transparency is maintained.”
Once the process is completed, the agency, upon receiving the seeds and the QR Code, it is applied atop the package as tracking method until it reaches the retailers.
In order to scale up this work and to protect the interest of small farmers of Punjab, PAGREXCO will undertake the activities pertaining to branding and certification of the seed potato of Punjab, forward linkages within India and abroad for marketing and sale of Punjab potato seed.