The AgriUT Foundation has announced the release of their first tranche of utility tokens, created on the Celo platform. “AgriUT is a digital reward designed to power positive impact projects. It makes use of our blockchain-backed platform to improve the lives of last mile farmers,” says Paget Hargreaves, CEO, AgriUT Foundation.
The ‘last mile’ is rural, remote, with low income and in need of a path to financial inclusion, despite being an integral part of global supply chains and an untapped market with enormous potential.
The AgriUT token has been created on the Celo platform using a combination of a smart contract and AgriUT APIs to govern the behaviour of the token.
As a digital reward token, AgriUT powers the transactions on the established AgUnity platform serving farming communities while the AgUnity platform is the ecosystem that gives AgriUT its utility and adoption – both supported by the Celo network.
“Celo was selected as the blockchain platform of choice based on their robust technical features and close alignment to our company vision,” says Paget.
“While working with farmers, we realised the huge gap on the other end of the supply chain. Supermarket consumers are insulated from the origins of their food. They are disconnected from the originating farmer and have no avenues to engage with them,” Paget adds.
“However, there is a growing demand amongst consumers to know the origins of their food, how it was produced, including consideration of the local environment, and the wellbeing of the farmer and their communities. Conscious consumers are emerging, and brands are taking notice,” he says.
As Paget explains, whether the consumer’s concern is poverty, climate change or education they can directly influence a positive outcome for these concerns through targeted AgriUT rewards intended for purpose-driven goals such as planting trees, paying for seed, farming equipment, education or services.
In rewarding the farmer for a purpose that aligns with their personal vision and values, consumers are helping farmers lift themselves out of poverty.
AgUnity provides technology solutions for smallholder farmers worldwide, using a low-cost ruggedised smartphone with a customised operating system. The platform uses Celo’s network for its blockchain-backed infrastructure and supports the AgUnity SuperApp and the AgUnity digital marketplace.
The platform provides people living and working in the last mile with practical, accessible tools to establish effective lines of communication in an ethical, accountable, and trustworthy means of trade.
“AgriUT was introduced as another way to help empower smallholder farmers by allowing AgriUT token users, whether they are,consumers, coffee companies, trading/buying houses or any other party, to reward farmers directly from their phones. These rewards will allow the farmer to access critical services to improve their lives and livelihoods,” says Paget.
AgriUT tokens are direct contributions with inherent traceability to ensure that 100% of the tip is immediately and directly sent to the farmer.
Celo, AgUnity and AgriUT have a shared vision of creating prosperity for smallholder farmers in developing nations. This is evident through the Celo motto, “Prosperity for All” and they have created the “Alliance for Prosperity'' to develop and progress the Celo ecosystem.
The Alliance is made up of a community of like-minded organisations collaborating and creating on the Celo platform, providing a rich environment of applications and services that may support the AgriUT mission and vice versa.
On a practical level, the collaboration between the companies is strengthened by a shared emphasis on supporting mobile clients who may have limited access to technology.
This capability is very relevant in the deployment context of farming communities in developing nations where mobile devices are the primary tool used for internet access and communication.
The Celo network is designed for users with low-cost devices and limited connectivity: able to optimise even with high latency, low bandwidth or high data tariffs to allow users to effectively use Celo applications. As many smallholder farmers lack a digital identity, the Celo lightweight identity layer is an additional benefit, employing randomised attestations to allow transactions to mobile phone addresses.
The AgriUT and Celo partnership was further cemented by the latter’s emphasis on a low carbon footprint. To avoid excessive power consumption, the Celo platform uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm.
“Financial inclusion and regenerative economics are important tenets of Celo’s mission. While we’ve seen great progress on these efforts through reforestation efforts and last mile money, AgriUT brings these together in a beautiful way by enabling purpose driven incentives for last mile farmers, while at the same providing access to critical needs such as mobile identity and access to financial services. Celo became the first carbon negative blockchain -- by allocating a portion of block rewards to offset the carbon footprint through reforestation efforts,” says Xochitl Cazador, Ecosystem, Celo(link is external) Foundation(link is external).
The AgriUT mission is motivated by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and Celo’s high transaction capability and low transaction fees ensure maximum uptime, minimal cost and a highly scalable solution make it the ideal partner to achieve these goals.
“While AgriUT is a utility token and not a cryptocurrency, there remains global support for blockchain-related projects. AgriUT has a very compelling story and that early adopters will see the benefit of not only rewarding farmers directly but also addressing making a difference to UNSDG #1 No Poverty, UNSDG #2 Zero Hunger and UNSDG #5 Gender Equality. Together we are transforming and empowering the world’s last mile, lifting people out of poverty, supporting smallholder farmer communities and securing the food supply chain for the future. The UN’s FAO Framework on Rural Extreme Poverty shows us that 80 percent of the extreme poor live in rural areas; although poverty has decreased, standards of living have not improved. With digitisation we (you, I, family, people, friends, corporations) can now reach and help improve the lives of these people directly” concludes Paget.
AgriUT Bundles are now available (for a limited time) and those that are interested can complete this EOI: https://www.agriut.org/expression-of-interest-form
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