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Ant Financial and Pharma Giant Bayer Crop Science Partner to Develop Blockchain for Agriculture

Ant Financial and Bayer Crop Science are collaborating to create a blockchain solution specifically for the agriculture industry. 

The Ledger Insights news outlet recently reported the partnership between the Alipay operator and pharmaceutical titan Bayer. The Enterprise-focused news site also confirmed that a letter of intent was signed by the two companies. The document confirmed their intention to develop solutions that would increase transparency and traceability. 

The partnership between Ant Financial and Bayer was revealed during the Apsara Conference which was held this week in Hangzhou, China. 

Ant Financial also shared its plan to expand its collaboration with Hyperledger and wok on blockchain applications, standards, and interoperability. 

BaaS Feature

The company’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) feature supports Hyperledger’s Fabric and its own platform. And with the partnership, this BaaS offering will soon be introduced to agriculture with the help of German company Bayer.  

Big pharma Bayer might be more known for its pharmaceutical holdings, but it also has a formidable presence in agriculture. The company has further solidified its standing with its acquisition of Monsanto. Bayer bought the American agrochemical and seeds business for $63 billion in 2018. 

Despite being headquartered in Thane, India, Bayer’s Crop Science division has strong ties in China. The company has been providing numerous services to Chinese food growers, like cutting-edge crop solutions, crop protection machinery, pesticides, safety and environmental training, as well as digital farming tech. 

Blockchain in Agriculture

One Ant Financial spokesperson illustrated the extent of the company’s new initiative and explained that it wanted to develop comprehensive, blockchain-powered solutions created with the aim of bringing greater transparency to improve the efficiency of agricultural supply chains and to enhance food safety. 

Meanwhile, Geoff Jiang, the VP of Ant Financial’s Intelligent Technology Group, said that they’re excited to be working with Bayer Crop Science in exploring how blockchain can be applied in agriculture. 

The head of Bayer’s Crop Science division in China, Weidong Huang, echoed the sentiment and said that by working together, they’ll strive to help the agriculture industry head to a new era and improve technology and production efficiency. 

The Ledger report also noted that agriculture is among the company’s more than 40 applications founded on blockchain technology. Ant Financial’s blockchain platform is also used in initiatives involving remittance, rice traceability, and supply chain financing. 

The company also provides a variety of blockchain services via Alipay, primarily in health insurance and online prescriptions. 

Jiang said their platform also has the power to support a billion accounts and one billion transactions every day. He is confident that by next year, they will have several blockchain applications used by 10 million active users daily.

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