Innovator BanQu builds blockchain and bridges for traceability, small farmers’ livelihoods

Innovator BanQu builds blockchain and bridges for traceability, small farmers’ livelihoods

 

Shutterstock i_am_zews/twenty1studio/LuckyStep/GreenBiz Collage Blockchain can create digital economic identities for impoverished farmers. Businesses can’t ignore the growing consumer interest in the origin of their purchases. From food and beverages to electronics to luxury items, more people want to know if the products they are buying are sustainably sourced and what labor activities went into making them.

This demand calls on brands to trace what happens at any given point in their product pipelines, especially in the bottom tier — workers in third-world countries who toil every day to grow, mine and sell raw materials but can’t even open a bank account for the lack of verifiable economic identity.

What if there is a way to kill two birds with one block? Blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin, could help companies improve supply chain traceability and lift end producers out of economic limbo.

BanQu, a non-crypto blockchain software platform, seeks to give impoverished farmers and producers a digital economic "passport" while helping companies acknowledge their contributions to the supply chain. Customers of the startup include beermaker Anheuser-Busch InBev and food manufacturer Mars, which are tracking farmers that supply the raw materials used in their products. The BanQu story

When BanQu founder Ashish Gadnis worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a volunteer CEO for the U.S. Agency for International Development, he met a mother unable to secure a loan to pay her children’s tuition. She had been growing high-quality barley for years, but banks didn’t consider the scratch paper receipts from her broker […]