Ethereum co-founder and Cardano chief Charles Hoskinson has launched a new project working with Ethiopia’s ministry of science and technology, according to CCN.
The project, according to the memorandum of understanding, is to study how blockchain technology can be applied to solving the problems attached to the coffee industry, such as land registry and supply chain fraud.
Coffee is important to the economy of Ethiopia; around 60% of foreign income comes from coffee, with an estimated 15 million of the population relying on some aspect of coffee production for their livelihood. In 2006, coffee exports brought in USD 350 million, equivalent to 34% of that year’s total exports. Ethiopia is currently responsible for about 3% of global production.
John O’Connor, director of African Operations, sees education as a major focus for the company as it moves into such projects commenting, “The arrangement tasks Cardano with exploring ways that the African nation can apply the startup’s blockchain technology to its agri-tech sector.”
Hoskinson plans not only to share his ideas but also teach developers how to use Cardano’s blockchain technology on their own. Recently at a speech to the London School of Economics, he spoke of more broader DLT development across Africa. Current problems such as landowners being cleared from their land due to supposed poor record keeping could be addressed by the new technology. Countries such as Kenya, Ghana, and Rwanda are all currently involved in programmes of their own.
Bitcoin Africa.io reports that companies Moyee and Bext360 have partnered with a washing station in the Jimma region of Oromia where farmers gather to sell their crop. Now as the coffee cherries go through the supply chain, farmers are assigned crypto tokens that show the complete value added, from bean to barista. The blockchain-based platform, FairChain, will record everything from payments to roasting to freighting to pricing. Moyee will pay farmers a 20% premium which is meant to be a good start towards giving them a better wage.
According to the Agricultural Growth Program, Ethiopia has announced the launch of a national traceability system known as eATTS, enabled by IBM. The system will start by piloting coffee in the current harvest season and will be expected to increase Ethiopian coffee sales worldwide