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How can technology assist nations on the arduous way to achieve food sovereignty

My own experiences inspired me to examine the lifestyles of people of Afro-Caribbean origin, South Asians, and Chinese people living in Canada’s Greater Toronto Area of Canada.

The Chinese have a massive appetite for bok choys, Chinese eggplant, and gailan (also called Chinese broccoli). The South Asians are awestruck by okra, bitter melon, and even eggplant. People who are of African descendants tend to enjoy amaranth as well as okra (a leafy, green plant) and sometimes substitute the former with spinach due to the shortage.

The fascinating thing about the groups mentioned above is that they have lots of foods in common, even though the cooking methods may differ.

This is logical: One of my major observations has been that everybody’s diet has been impacted by trade and immigration. This is more apparent in the current world, as people discover and learn from different traditions by incorporating other food customs into their own culinary.

Food culture enriching

The blending of cultures is not a denial of the culturally-appropriate food, but improves it. London’s curries are the result of immigration. In Nairobi, the addition of the channa (chickpea) and Chapati (flatbread) as part of the food chain is a consequence of Indians trading and coming to the region.

Cultural groups differ in their definitions of what constitutes good food. The wealthy (who have the money to afford it) and those who are concerned about the environment, for example, prefer organic or local products; Jews eat kosher food, as do Muslims are halal eaters.

The difficulty is making sure that food items are properly labeled with respect to organic local, local, kosher, or halal. The most important aspect is the authenticity of the process of certification.

It’s often difficult to identify the source of certain foods, no matter if they are produced locally or globally. This helps consumers understand and allows them to make the best choice. It could also be a cost to farmers, and there’s very little incentive to use labels.

The need for transparency and authenticity

In order to ensure that trade allows consumers to access authentic, culturally appropriate food I would recommend a fresh digital process known as “crypto-labelling”. Crypto-labelling uses encryption technology to create a document that trace the origins of a specific food item from its origins to the grocery store. It will result in consistency of records, no duplication or certification registry and simple traceability.

The use of crypto-labelling will provide an open certification process for niche markets for example, halal, kosher and organic. It allows those who don’t have a good relationship or know one another to establish trusting relationships based on a particular type of commodity.

If an individual makes natural amaranth, such as in Cotonou, Benin, for instance, and then labels it with a code that is easily understood by anyone, the family living in a different country could enjoy the amaranth they desire throughout the entire year.

The initiative, which is expected to be built upon blockchain technology, such as the Blockchain technology that is the basis of Bitcoin is able to be governed by producer or consumer cooperatives. On the consumer side, all you need is a smartphone with the ability to scan and read crypto-labels.

Blockchain technology’s adoption in the agriculture sector could aid African nations “leapfrog” to the fourth industrial revolution.

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Jane S. King

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