E-Livestock Global, a risk-funded social enterprise, recently launched a blockchain-based cattle traceability system for Zimbabwean cattle farmers. Mastercard’s “Provenance Solution” -based system, which is said to be the first of its kind in Africa, aims to bring “end-to-end transparency to the cattle supply chain”. It could also help Zimbabwean farmers prove their cattle origin and health records while reducing the risks for buyers.
Solution brings hope to cattle farmers in Zimbabwe
According to a statement released by Mastercard, this solution could not only give hope to farmers who lost a total of 50,000 cattle to tick-borne diseases in 2018, but also improve Zimbabwe’s chances of “reclaiming its lucrative beef export market in support of economic recovery.”
In his remarks after the launch, Max Makuvise, Founder and President of E-Livestock Global, praised the solution, saying that it “will open up new opportunities for farmers”. He said:
Mastercard’s provenance solution can securely track the authenticity of livestock transport at every stage from birth to sale. Tracking cattle medical history on a tamper-evident blockchain ledger will increase confidence in Zimbabwean cattle farming and restore Zimbabwe’s credibility as an international beef exporter.
As part of E-Livestock’s blockchain-based cattle tracking system, commercial farmers and diving officers (dipping is a tick prevention procedure) tag each cattle head with a unique, ultra-high frequency RFID tag – as mandated by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Agriculture – and register the cattle and its owner in the blockchain. From then on, every time the animal is immersed, vaccinated, or medically treated, the tag records the event in the traceability system.
More transparency with the blockchain solution from Mastercard
For his part, Mark Elliott, Division President of Mastercard in Southern Africa, points out how blockchain-powered “seamless supply chain visibility can help convey authenticity, expand inclusion, share sustainability practices and improve back office efficiency.” .
According to the company statement, Mastercard wants to bring more transparency and traceability to food systems. The payment giant has already integrated its blockchain system with other companies enabling food supply chains around the world. The integrations “further improve the supply chains for Australian avocados and California shrimp, as well as commodities such as coffee and grains in America,” the statement said.
With Mastercard being a large, centralized company, the competitive Zimbabwean cattle farmers are likely to be watching closely over the coming months to see if they keep their blockchain promises for the country’s unique market needs.
What do you think of this Mastercard-backed cattle tracking solution? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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