The Ethiopian government will be working with Cardano to see how blockchain technology can have a positive impact on the agritech industry. The project will have a strong focus on the countries main export – coffee beans. The goal is to increase transparency throughout the supply chain.
On May 3rd, CEO and founder of Cardano, Charles Hoskinson, tweeted that Cardano had just signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ethiopian government. The MOU was signed at a blockchain forum held at the ministry of science and technology on May 3rd, 2018. The agreement will look at how Ethiopian developers will be able to apply blockchain technology in the countries agritech industry.
Just signed an MOU with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology to explore training blockchain developers and use Cardano in the Agritech Industry pic.twitter.com/r06W0RSZye
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) May 3, 2018
The project will include training 100 local developers to use blockchain technology and they will also be trained in the Haskell programming language.
Bitcoin Magazine reported that the Minister Getahun Mekuria Kuma said at the blockchain forum where the MOU was announced that he wants the first batch of students participating in the Haskell course to be women.
“To promote and highlight the importance and participation of women in coding. The ideal applicant will be a recent graduate from an Ethiopian university with a computer science or related degree.”
The Birthplace of Coffee
It is believed that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, with reports of the Ethiopian nomadic people eating the red cherries for the stimulant effect, going back as far as the tenth century.
Fast forward to today and coffee accounts for 22% of all of the countries exports. In the last fiscal year, Ethiopia made $866 million from the export of coffee.
Unfortunately, the country is not seeing its fair share of the profits when it comes to coffee, and a lot of this is to do with the supply chain. Ninety-five percent of coffee that is grown in Ethiopia is from local farmers, but they are getting little return on their beans.
Currently, it is difficult to prove the origin of coffee, and buyers are unwilling to pay more for beans when they don’t know where they have come from or what pesticides have been used.
This is where blockchain technology has the potential to change the game for rural farmers and the Ethiopian coffee industry as a whole. By storing data on the blockchain, it would allow all participants in the supply chain to record, trace and track the coffee, from the local farmers to the wholesale buyers.
Blockchain technology has the power to change supply chains across all industries, but in developing nations such as Ethiopia, it will hopefully help local farmers see an increased return on their hard labor. By proving the origins of the coffee as well as its purity, farmers will be able to sell their coffee for its actual worth and not at the current deflated price.
Additionally, not only will the blockchain help to show the true origin of coffee but regulators will be able to gain insight about pesticides that may have been used in production.
Minister Getahun Mekuria Kuma:
“In Ethiopia, we have been working on the possibility of adopting blockchain for the marketing of agricultural products, especially for coffee.”
Blockchain technology is being explored by a number of different countries in Africa with many people believing that it will help the countries that have long suffered financial instability and corruption.
In Kenya, they are hoping to use the technology to help verify land ownership and the government of Uganda is planning to use blockchain technology to improve the efficiency in public service delivery.
Cover Photo by Trevor Cole on Unsplash