French President Emmanuel Macron has said that the European Union needs to increase its adoption and usage of data technologies like blockchain to boost the agricultural industry and address concerns attributed to supply chain management.
Mr. Macron’s remarks came during the 56th International Agriculture Fair held in Paris over last week, with the president stating that blockchain technology would significantly improve on the critical sector of food traceability.
In his opening speech, the president called for measures to be put in place to ensure increased monitoring of the agri-industry, to track and safeguard the authenticity of agricultural products.
As Agridigitale.net reported, Macron noted that there is a growing concern among consumers regarding things like food safety, especially following early February’s Polish beef scandal.
Concerning the need to innovate in the sector, the French president contended that its usage would go a long way in assuaging the mounting concerns by instituting transparency, thus assuring the public about a products’ provenance.
“Let’s do this in Europe, the vanguard of agricultural data by developing tools that will track every product from raw material production to packaging and processing.”
He added that since this technology is already there, “it must be used in the agricultural world,” emphasizing that it is such an approach that would see the E.U. have “shared excellence” and in the process benefit consumers.
Mr. Macron’s call for greater focus on innovation was part of his multi-strategy proposal that he hoped would aid Europe’s agricultural sector in the long run.
Macron also called for European states to unite if they are to counteract the massive competition brought on by a push from global markets like the U.S., China, and Russia.
In this regard, he noted, the E.U. needs to focus on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and allocate enough resources that would help farmers to battle challenges like soil erosion, while also protecting them against adverse effects of climate change and market risks.
As well as his thoughts on environmental policies envisioned under CAP, Macron noted that Africa represented an excellent opportunity for the E.U. to pursue shared development.
He urged “greater vigilance” in the European market to ensure that “African farmers are also protected and live from the fruits of their labor.”
The president also noted that if EU member nations supported innovation in the agricultural sector, then he (Macron) would propose that a European task force be established to monitor production and fight fraudsters.
The comments by the French president follow similar pushes in other countries as blockchain gains increased traction. For example, the South Korean government is looking to use the tech in its beef tracking of the country’s beef supply chain.
China has also issued a guideline promoting the use of blockchain in its agricultural sector; with the emerging tech’s global use in agriculture estimated to reach grow to nearly $430 million by 2023.
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