Saturday, March 28, 2020

Smart contracts will help farmers meet Net Zero target

February 28, 2020 by  
Filed under News & Business

Agri-tech start-up Breedr is developing an online trading platform for farmers to improve productivity while cutting waste and emissions.

Using better methods to measure performance and increase transparency in the supply chain has the potential to increase returns to farmers – while helping the wider agricultural industry meet its Net Zero target of becoming carbon neutral by 2040, it says.

Providing evidence of good environmental credentials is a brand differentiator, visitors were told at last month’s Dairy Tech event. Although aimed initially at dairy and beef producers, other sectors could also benefit.

Breedr has already developed an app that helps livestock farmers improve productivity and profitability by determining the “point of peak profit” for each animal. This means they can produce healthy lower weight cattle, finished rapidly on time to exact specifications.

Those animals produce less methane emissions over their lifetime – giving farmers the tools to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions by deciding which animals in the herd produce the best male calves for dairy beef.

“We are aiming to create a platform that helps farmers, reduces waste, improves animal welfare and makes the whole supply chain more efficient end-to-end,” says Breedr software developer Kostas Ntolkeras.

Breedr is now leading a consortium that is developing an innovative smart contract system. Working with Imperial College London and meat processor Dunbia, it is backed by Innovate UK – the government’s innovation agency.

The project uses blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to capture the complicated flows of data between the different parties in the livestock industry. Mr Ntolkeras says it will offer improved traceability within the supply chain and support online trading.

“I’ve been interested in blockchain and machine learning for a while, so this opportunity to have an impact on the ‘real world’ economy was a real draw – especially as farming has such a big stake in providing for the needs of society.”

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