APEDA introduces blockchain technology for grape importers to track consignments from India

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the ministry of commerce, has integrated a Blockchain solution into its GrapeNet traceability platform. 

The GrapeNet is a web based certification and traceability software system for monitoring fresh grapes exported from India to the European Union. The Blockchain solution, called APEDA Trust Chain, will help track all the details of the consignment, right down to the location of the vineyards. It will keep a record of all the processes involved which can be traced by international customers at the end of the chain to validate the authenticity and quality of the grapes.

“The introduction of a Blockchain based layer will provide an added layer of comfort to importers on the trustworthiness of data security in Apeda’s systems,” said M Angamuthu, chairman, Apeda in a Financial Express report. “It also enables future integration of India’s supply chain data with the global supply chain data network of fresh produce, as all these various Blockchain initiatives are likely to get integrated to ensure smooth sharing of data on movement of fresh produce in future.” 

Such timely information sharing will also result in reduction in potential losses in handling and spoilage. Blockchain technology ensures a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. 

The technology is ideal for delivering that information because it provides immediate, shared, and completely transparent information stored on a digital ledger that can be accessed only by network members. Blockchain technology is increasingly finding use in banking, financial services, international trade and logistics sectors. 

In 2019-20, India exported over 1.93 lakh tonnes of fresh grapes worth Rs 2177 crore. Grape cultivation covers 140,000 hectares with an annual production of 3.4 million metric tonnes, with the major producing states being Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka. 

The Netherlands is the number one destination for Indian grapes, followed by Russia, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Netherlands is also the most important trade hub for fresh fruits in Europe, and introduction of the Blockchain technology will add a layer of credibility to exports from India.

APEDA is also exploring building AI based data mining solutions on the large international trade data acquired over the years to build forecasting systems for exports.

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