Zimbabwe has become the inaugural African country to put to work an e-livestock cattle logging system. This is a system that was developed by E-Livestock Global. The system is backed or powered Provenance – a blockchain solution belonging to MasterCard. The whole idea behind the logging system is to ensure cattle buyers purchase authentic beasts. The system enables buyers to access proof of origin and the necessary health records of the cattle.

The Importance Of This Logging System

About 3 years ago there was a major tick-borne disease outbreak here in Zimbabwe. This seriously compromised the agricultural industry because over 50000 cattle died as a result of this outbreak. This was due to numerous reasons one of which is the lack of objective traceability. This has severely affected the exportability of Zimbabwean beef to key markets such as the Middle East and Europe. Did you know that back then when the Zimbabwean beef industry was top-notch we had over 1.4 million cattle? We would realize over US$50 million per annum from beef exports. Our key market was Europe particularly Netherlands, UK, and Germany. This logging system can go a long in helping us restore that vibrancy.

How The Logging System Works

Every beast gets to be tagged using an ultrahigh-frequency RFID tag, which is unique to that head of cattle. This is done by commercial farmers and officers who oversee cattle dipping. The tag, along with the owner’s details is fed into the system. Once that is done anything thereafter gets recorded onto the logging system for tracing purposes.

For instance, when a head of cattle is treated for something, or dipped, or vaccinated, all these events get recorded. E-Livestock Global securely keeps these records which are immutable and transparent. Remember the platform uses blockchain technology so records cannot be forged or tampered with. Aside from just tracing, the system will also make available invaluable data from which insights can be drawn.

RFID technology is basically a method of collecting data that entails automatic identification of objects by use of lower-power radio waves. The system combines the use of an RFID tag, an RFID reader, an antenna, and a transceiver. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.

Improved Professionalism And Quality

This system will cultivate professionalism and quality produce. Commercial farms will not cut corners since everything gets recorded. You can lie about having done something that you would not have done. You will also see to it that you do everything that is expected of you. This will help curb the spread of disease outbreaks if they occur. Buyers will get quality products with clear and comprehensive records. In the end, this will increase the chances of exporting beef overseas. All in all, it will be an all-inclusive win-win situation.

Remarks By E-Livestock Global

The President and Founder, Max Makuvise, had this to say:

MasterCard’s Provenance solution can safely and securely track the authenticity of the cattle’s journey at every stage, from birth to sale. Tracking the medical history of cattle on a tamper-proof, blockchain ledger will foster renewed trust in Zimbabwean cattle farming and re-establish Zimbabwe’s credibility as an international beef exporter. It will also open up new opportunities for farmers – especially small farmers who were impacted the most by the 2018 outbreak. Ultimately, this will drive trust for multiple stakeholders by combining industry expertise with data privacy.”

Remarks By MasterCard

The Southern Africa Division President, Mark Elliot, had this to say:

Building trust in industries is essential for a functioning and reliable value chain. At MasterCard, we believe that seamless supply chain transparency can help convey authenticity, expand inclusion, share sustainability practices, and improve back-office efficiencies. Or globally-scaled technology and established network capabilities are advancing this process, enabling smarter buying decisions and inclusion of all players, whatever their size.”

This is a great initiative and I would love to see it being rollout nationwide. This is just one of the many examples that show how cutting edge blockchain technology is. There will also be a need to break down this technology so that the layman understands. Awareness and education campaigns will need to be conducted to make everyone see its importance.