The entire process of Chinese chicken farming, which sees some 5 billion chickens consumed every year, could soon be tracked on a blockchain.
China’s online-only insurer ZhongAn is working on a blockchain platform to chart the chicken supply chain in China.
According to local publication Leiphone, the tamper-proof blockchain, announced by ZhongAn, will be the first of its kind in the agricultural sector of the country. The platform will see each chicken given a unique identity, enabling a real-time record of information. The entire record from the supply of eggs, to the breeding base, on to processing plants and ultimately logistics firms who deliver the chickens to the market will be accessible on the decentralized ledger.
As China’s first online-only insurer, ZhongAn first announced its interest in developing blockchain technology with the launch of an incubator in November last year. ZhongAn is notably founded and backed by FinTech giant Ant Financial.
The blockchain will also record details of the daily feed given to chickens, their nutritional requirements, and even their daily exercise to ensure they are a healthy produce. ZhongAn will partner with Hangzhou-based Wopu, an internet of things firm, to provide the networked hardware devices that will be attached to each chicken, according to local publication Jiemain.
The blockchain initiative is undoubtedly a response to tackle the issue of food safety crisis in China in recent years. It’s a topic keenly observed in the mainstream, beginning with the notable 2014 scandal of a food supplier supplying rotting and expired meat to fast-food chains including McDonald’s and KFC in China.
Chinese officials from the Food and Drug Administration revealed “deep-seated” problems in the country’s food sector and pointed to 500,000 food safety violations in the first nine months of 2016 alone. In September 2016, a police raid in Guangdong seized 1,000 tons of tainted meat, some of which were soaked in bleach to increase their weight.
Featured image from Shutterstock.