To Block or Not: Exploring the Use of Blockchain in Last-Mile Agriculture Communities
Food systems built on these principles generally are known to attract higher price premiums by increasing consumer confidence and value for the products. This creates income earning opportunities for producers and upgrades the quality of agri-food value chains. Blockchain technology is heralded for its ability to improve traceability, trust, and trust in agri-food value chains. What is lesser known is whether it is a viable technology for those value chains that originate in last-mile agriculture communities. This webinar explores the contexts in which blockchain offers real solutions to strengthening value chains and its potential for creating social impact, like improved food security or engaging youth in agriculture. For the optimist and the skeptic, this two-hour webinar aims to discard the trendiness of the emerging technology and take a pragmatic view of the opportunities to use blockchain to strengthen last-mile agriculture.
Associate Professor, Associate Director
School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Tech
Dr. Ralph Hall is the Principal Investigator of Exploring the Use of Blockchain Technology to Improve Food Security Through African Indigenous Vegetables in Western Kenya.
Founder of two successful startups, David Davies has more than 10 years of experience in senior roles in global investment banks (Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros, Standard Chartered). In 2016, David Davies and his co-founder laid the foundation of what AgUnity would come to be when they entered a hackathon in a tech conference in London.
Keith Nielsen has more than 25 years of experience in investment banking, tech and large-scale projects, and growing innovative ideas.
Team Lead in Research and Evaluation
Trans-Africa Agribusiness Solution
Mary Nderito has been working in monitoring and evaluation in Kenya for more than 10 years. With the Trans-Africa Agribusiness Solutions team, she now works to support the digitization of smallholder farming in Kenya.
Center for International Research, Education, and Development, Virginia Tech
Dr. Jessica Agnew has almost a decade’s worth of experience working in market-based approaches to nutrition and food security in an international context. Her research and on-the-ground experience has involved improving the competitiveness and commercial viability of small and medium-sized enterprises that sell nutritious foods to low-income populations and strengthening value chains to become more nutrition-sensitive and profitable for smallholder farmers. She is Co-Principal Investigator of Exploring the Use of Blockchain Technology to Improve Food Security Through African Indigenous Vegetables in Western Kenya.
Founding Director and Trustee
Kenya Private Sector Alliance
Bill Lay has extensive experience working in the East African private sector. In 2002, he served as the founding director of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance where he continues to serve a trustee. In 2021, he founded the Taita Taveta Investment Forum through which he works with CIP and USAID to introduce new technologies to farmers in the Taita Highlands. As a potato farmer himself, he is intimately aware of the challenges and opportunities within agri-food value chains in Kenya.
Nurvitria Kristofikova has a cross-disciplinary background that spans from Industrial Engineering to Finance to Development Studies. She has 10 years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating development projects, as well as conducting workshops and designing knowledge products. Nurvitria’s work with AgUnity focuses on the area of private sector development, financial inclusion, employability, and social entrepreneurship development.
Jemima Ikalakala M’mayi
Jemima is a social worker by profession and is a well-known community activist in Kakamega. She is the vision bearer of the community-based organization New Vision. Jemima works with other volunteers to achieve food security for group members and beyond through local vegetable growing and marketing and local poultry upscaling. She leads collaboration and networking with other relevant stakeholders and government ministries. Jemima actively works to find training for the group’s members and community at large.
Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management, Egerton University
Joseph is a PhD candidate in Agricultural Economics at Humboldt University (Berlin) and holds an MS in Agricultural and Applied Economics, a BS in Agricultural Economics and is a certified public accountant. Mr. Mwangi has extensive experience working in horticultural value chains in Kenya to improve the livelihood and nutritional situation of last-mile communities in Kenya. He is Co-Principal Investigator of Exploring the Use of Blockchain Technology to Improve Food Security Through African Indigenous Vegetables in Western Kenya.