Loughborough University
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Blockchain technology in current agricultural systems: from techniques to applications

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-08-07, 08:31 authored by Weijun Lin, Xinghong Huang, Hui FangHui Fang, Victoria Wang, Yining Hua, Jingjie Wang, Haining Yin, Dewei Yi, Laihung Yau
Increasingly, blockchain technology is attracting significant attentions in various agricultural applications. These applications could satisfy the diverse needs in the ecosystem of agricultural products, e.g., increasing transparency of food safety and IoT based food quality control, provenance traceability, improvement of contract exchanges, and transactions efficiency. As multiple untrusted parties, including small-scale farmers, food processors, logistic companies, distributors and retailers, are involved into the complex farm-to-fork pipeline, it becomes vital to achieve optimal trade-off between efficiency and integrity of the agricultural management systems as required in contexts. In this paper, we provide a survey to study both techniques and applications of blockchain technology used in the agricultural sector. First, the technical elements, including data structure, cryptographic methods, and consensus mechanisms are explained in detail. Secondly, the existing agricultural blockchain applications are categorized and reviewed to demonstrate the use of the blockchain techniques. In addition, the popular platforms and smart contract are provided to show how practitioners use them to develop these agricultural applications. Thirdly, we identify the key challenges in many prospective agricultural systems, and discuss the efforts and potential solutions to tackle these problems. Further, we conduct an improved food supply chain in the post COVID19 pandemic economy as an illustration to demonstrate an effective use of blockchain technology.


Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong, China under Grant 201903010105

Philosophy and Social Science 13th Five-Year Planning Project of Guangzhou, China under Grant 2018GZZK23



  • Science


  • Computer Science

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IEEE Access




143920 - 143937


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by IEEE under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Dr Hui Fang Deposit date: 6 August 2020