Blockchain technology is being used by Freshstack Technologies to allow end-to-end digital trading among its 23,000 farmers and commodity traders in India.

Freshstack is the company behind FarmFirst, a leading agri-commodities marketplace in India, and it partnered with Singapore-based blockchain platform, dltledgers on the project.

The platform functions as an intermediary – connecting farmers to domestic and international wholesalers and traders.

Buyers and sellers can create digital contracts and trade documents, exchange purchase orders and invoices, manage financing and logistics, and make payments.

The move was aimed at helping Freshstack support producers across India, as well as internationally, to tackle the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our aim has always been to facilitate the connection of agri-producers with prospective buyers,” said Freshstack CEO Radhakrishnan.

“We’re keen on leveraging technology to introduce end-to-end digitised trade. Our partnership with dltledgers finally gives our stakeholders the seamless inter-connectivity between trade cycle stages, which was not possible earlier. Now they will be able to conduct both pre-trade and post-trade operations in a single, trusted ecosystem.”

The venture will see Freshstack’s mobile app and online site fully embedded into dltledgers’ blockchain platform via open API.

According to research by dltledgers, agri-commodity trading could take up to a month to complete if done manually, compared with less than one working week if carried out digitally.

Blockchain could also increase the transparency of each transaction, according to dltledgers, allowing buyers to trace the supply chain of each shipment, prove provenance, record quality checks and demonstrate ethical and sustainable sourcing practices.

Samir Neji, CEO at dltledgers, said: “We have a strong track record in agri-commodities, with operators like Singapore’s Agrocorp and Cargill in the USA. In the future, I believe partnerships like this can improve the way that farm produce is sourced, removing unnecessary administration, and ultimately giving farmers a greater share of revenue.”