Founded in 1942, Oxfam is a confederation of 20 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty. Oxfam’s stated goal is to help people directly when local capacity is insufficient or inappropriate for Oxfam’s purposes, and to assist in the development of structures which directly benefit people facing the realities of poverty and injustice.
The BlocRice project intends to give bargaining power back to farmers in order to produce fairer deals with middlemen, traders and companies on price and other conditions. The BlocRice app focuses on transparency and traceability by using blockchain technology, by implementing smart contract as a tool, and interactive consumer communication apps for trackability.
Oxfam’s project in Cambodia, which will run through March 2019, is being implemented with the collaboration of a cooperative of organic rice farmers in Preah Vihear province. The cooperative will be linked using the BlocRice ap with every agent involved in the supply chain, including SanoRice, the Dutch rice cracker manufacturer that will use the cooperative’s rice as raw material for their products.
“The project analyses and tests how these farmers can be strengthened by having up-to-date information and value distribution in their supply chain,” Oxfam said. “We expect to empower them in their price negotiations and in finding buyers. The project introduces cashless payments to the farmers. This form of payment requires a digital platform like blockchain technology, which is a web-ledger.”
Solinn Lim, country director of Oxfam in Cambodia, said that the project will also introduce cashless payments to farmers, using personal bank accounts provided by Acleda bank. If the pilot project proves successful, Lim said they will expand the initiative to other provinces and new products, such as cassava, cashew nuts, maize and pepper.