digital-farming

How digitalization can improve traceability in agriculture

Digitalization is becoming increasingly popular among farmers and smart farming market is expected to reach $23.14 billion by 2022. A present, international consumers want to know where their food come from, therefore, the demand for certified agricultural products is on the rise in global markets. The need to support traceable and certified production is becoming big in developing countries and farmers have to be able to provide it.

The benefits of certification are clear for both buyers and sellers of crops value chains, however, there are still significant challenges in implementing such schemes. The process of getting certified can be long and expensive. Organic certification processes, for instance, can take up to five years and getting producers to adhere to standards can be complicated. Certification audits can become farmer’s worst nightmares and manual data recording can make the full process more difficult. Nevertheless, mobile systems for traceability and certification can help farmers to extract quality data and process it efficiently.

The majority of certification schemes still rely on pen and paper. Therefore, agriculture still faces challenges such as find methods to ensure traceability and certification of products with paper-based systems.

The benefits of traceability

Traceability enable companies to track environmental, economic, health and social consequences of agricultural production processes, making it possible to calculate the “true cost of food”. It can also help to meet the increasing consumer demand for transparency and can improve producer revenue, market access and opportunities for access to capital.

Digital technologies have the potential to change today’s food system, making it not only healthier but also more nutritious, sustainable, efficient and inclusive. Traceability could also help smallscale producers to improve their market transparency, opportunities and access to capital.

The main advantage of adopting technology in the traceability of goods is related to quality. The purpose of agricultural
traceability is to permit the full backward and forward tracking of a product and its life history (activities) in the supply chain,

How can digital tools help with traceability and certification?

Today, there is a wide range of mobile-enabled tools that can assist companies to comply with the standards and to meet traceability and certification schemes. These tools can enable farmers to have control of the product quality whilst keeping a digital record of suppliers. They can also help them to confirm certification status.

In the last couple of years, we have seen the development of apps that allow farmers to track their progress toward meeting certification requirements. Their objective is to ensure that data is available via the app for record keeping and analysis that will ease and streamline auditing processes.  Some of these apps can generate GPRS location data which allow auditors to geo-locate farmers and their farms easily.

There are other apps that allows farmers to conduct their own record keeping while capturing and tracking their day-to-day on- activities. The data collected is aggregated and analysed by specialised teams that generate advisory for the farmers on how to track their farm processes.

Many tech companies have developed a farmer-led data collection app which allows farmers to conduct their own record keeping, collect data and analyse it to generate advisory for farmers on how to track their farm processes and manage their cash flow. Other programmes work with mobile operators and ag-tech companies to enable the digitisation of the agricultural industry. However, despite the latest development of mobile solutions for this sector, many of these technologies aren’t available massively. Many farmers still don’t have access to tools that allow them to use the mobile phone to develop and manage digital farmers and farm profiles and support traceability and certification processes.

 

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DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field

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