How DePINs are connecting farmers and businesses via blockchain

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In a bid to revolutionize the global food commodity trade and empower farmers, farmer-centric blockchain Farmsent has revealed a new partnership with the layer-1 DePIN-focused blockchain Peaq. 

This collaboration, announced on April 9, marks a step forward in Farmsent’s goal of decentralizing the agricultural supply chain to enhance transparency in the global food trade and build a global Web3 marketplace that connects farmers directly with consumer-facing businesses worldwide.

By leveraging a decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN) of sensors to track product quality and provenance, Farmsent claims it can eliminate centralized middlemen and reduce costs for all stakeholders, all while ensuring transparency across the supply chain.

Cointelegraph heard from Yog Shusti, the co-founder and CEO of Farmsent, about the use case of DePINs in the agricultural sector.

Connecting commerce 

Shusti called Farmsent’s DePIN use case “particularly exciting for agriculture” because the technology is leveraged in a way that benefits both farmers and consumers.

“It provides farmers with secure digital identities for better market access, but also empowers them with real-time data about their crops. This includes crucial details like soil moisture, pH content, and humidity.”

He said this information allows farmers to make “data-driven decisions” to optimize crop health and yields. Whereas for consumers, the DePIN system allows them to access information about the food they purchase.

“This could include details about the farm’s practices, the origin of the food, and how it was grown. It empowers consumers to make informed choices about the food they put on their tables.”

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Currently, the state of the global food trade highlights the urgent need for change. Farmers, despite being the backbone of the industry, often receive a disproportionately low share of the value captured in the market.

Scaling for the world

According to Farmsent, it plans to address this by bypassing traditional intermediaries and enabling direct transactions between farmers and consumers and already has over 160,000 farmers onboarded in Indonesia and Colombia.

The platform, currently still in beta, is being used to track coffee, avocados, and palm sugar between Indonesia, Colombia, the UAE — where it already has a license to operate — and the United States. Farmsent said it is working on securing three additional licenses at the moment.

Shusti said that storing large amounts of data from sensors, farms and partners can become expensive on traditional blockchains. 

“As Farmsent expands its reach to new markets and connects with more farmers and consumers, the volume of data and transactions within the network will inevitably surge.”

Therefore, he said that Peaq was chosen for its ability to cost-effectively store data and scale at large. The Peaq network has been gaining traction, as it recently secured $15 million in a Series A round led by Generative Ventures and Borderless Capital.

In the past, it has worked on DePIN projects alongside major companies such as Bosch and even worked to tokenize 100 Teslas in a decentralized Web3 ride-sharing initiative across Europe.

Data and security 

Handling the transaction and data of farmers and business owners around the world is not only a big feat for scaling purposes, but also in keeping all of that information safe and secure. 

According to the Farmsent CEO, its DePIN network gathers information from three sources. In one, it is entered by humans and then validated. Information on farm practices, harvest details, and initial processing can be manually entered by authorized personnel and validated for accuracy.

It can also be collected through Internet of Things (IoT) sensors placed throughout the supply chain (farms, storage facilities, transport) that can continuously monitor conditions like temperature, humidity, and freshness.

Lastly, data is procured from third-party partners like logistics companies that provide data relevant to transport and storage conditions.

To keep this data secure Shusti told Cointelegraph that they leverage Peaq Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) to further enhance data privacy.

“DIDs act like unique identifiers on the blockchain that can be linked to data without revealing the actual data itself. ”

He said that this allows for data verification and controlled access while protecting sensitive information.

Till Wendler, the co-founder of Peaq, said this use case within the agriculture industry is not just exciting but also one of the “most important ones” due to its promise to push back global food insecurity and “deliver cheaper and more quality produce to people around the world” — and in a secure manner. 

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