Blockchain technology has the potential to reduce the need for trust and to ensure accountability and equity in smallholder agricultural development. We present two applications – one already in progress and one hypothetical - using blockchain to address market failures in the smallholder sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, we explore BanQu, a blockchain-based platform used by Anheuser-Busch InBev to create verified financial identities for smallholders along the supply chain. Second, we discuss a hypothetical blockchain application to improve the reliability of actors within smallholder dairy cooperatives. Blockchain applications in smallholder agriculture could be transformative, serving as substitutes for trust, but alone blockchain is not a solution to the multiple challenges facing the smallholder farming sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100604
JournalGlobal Food Security
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Blockchain
  • Contracts
  • Cooperatives
  • Smallholders
  • Supply chains
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research


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