The Tea Board of India is keen to harness latest technologies such as blockchain to help end-consumers track the supply chain of tea of Indian origin, by digitising Indian tea marketing channels.
The industry regulator has invited expressions of interest for designing, developing and commissioning of an end-to-end technology to ensure traceability through the integration of various online systems. Blockchain involves storing digital information (blocks) in a public database (the chain). The initiative comes at a time when the Indian tea industry is beset with a clutch of problems. It is facing challenges in terms of oversupply, quality concerns, low price realisation, tight global demand, and non-remunerative prices for small growers, who now account for bulk of the tea crop. India is currently the world’s second largest tea producer and the fourth largest exporter.
Several measures have been taken by the government to address these concern areas, including setting up a new auction platform at Jorhat with value-added features, and a mobile application for small growers and manufacturers.The Board is now seeking inputs for amalgamation of individual systems for making judicious use of emerging technologies.
“Harnessing technologies like blockchain, existing systems are to be converted into a ‘ring fenced’ electronic environment capturing the entire details of supply chain — from procurement of raw materials to the disposal of made teas to the primary buyers through auction,” Tea Board officials said.
This system will be able to enhance visibility of the quality of Indian origin tea to consumers, thereby enhancing price realisation.
The integrated system will also provide data for the Tea Board, which will be stored either on cloud or otherwise.