According to data available, more than 70000 farmers committed suicide in India in the year 2016. While the numbers are not very high as compared to other demographics what is striking is unlike other demographics majority of suicide as per data available with NCRB are due to economic distress. Below graph captures the stark difference between reasons behind farmer suicides and others
Source : NCRB
Some of the key reasons for increasing farmer distress are:
- Increasing cost of inputs resulting in farming becoming unviable
- Low access to formal banking systems and loans resulting in farmers taking money from money lenders and falling in a debt trap
- No or very low penetration of Crop insurance
- No direct access to markets for selling crops
A country of 1Billion plus like India where the majority of the population is still involved in farming or farm-related activities farmer distress is a real problem.
Some of you guys will be surprised how come a blockchain and Crypto focussed blog discussing social issues like Farmer Distress.
Well the Reason is I stumbled across a new product Sentinel Chain
Sentinel Chain is trying to use blockchain to provide financial inclusion to unbanked, especially farmers. Sentinel Chain is led by Roy Lai.
And as per their website:
- 1 Details of the Sentinel Platform
- 2 My Analysis
“The Sentinel Chain is a B2B marketplace specifically designed to provide affordable and secure financial services to the unbanked.”
Checkout the video to understand problem Sentinel Chain is trying to solve
Sentinel Chain plans to offer a SENC token with following utilities.
- Insurance Marketplace where insurance companies can publish livestock insurance based on livestock available on cross pay blockchain
- Loans available from local finance companies based on loan agreements on CrossPay Blockchain hedged on livestock collateral.
- RFID tagging livestock to ensure adding these as assets in financial economy
- Peer to Peer funding for lock microfinance companies based on sentinel blockchain
- epayments using Sentinel tokens
Looking at stress Farmers in India and across many other countries in Asia are facing we need innovative and out of box solutions to help farmers and nothing better than creating value out of existing assets and connecting them with the global marketplace.
Details of the Sentinel Platform
Sentinel Platform constitutes following key components
• Livestock Identification Tag
- Livestock ID Tag is an RFID enabled tamper-proof and theft-proof tags which can store data and interact with Cross pay blockchain.
- Livestock tag holds geolocation and timestamp data and is single use only and gets destroyed on removal
CrossPay Mobile Application
The CrossPay Mobile application is designed to deliver financial services over mobile and will allow transactions and access to balances etc at the last mile i
The CrossPay Blockchain is a B2C financial ecosystem specifically designed for the unbanked. Managed and operated within a local geography, it is accessible via the CrossPay Mobile application – a simple mobile interface built for Android.
The Sentinel Chain is designed to be a B2B marketplace platform for financial inclusion services based on the use of livestock as collaterals. t Sentinel Chain and the CrossPay Blockchains creates a hub-and-spoke ecosystem specifically designed to provide a low-cost cross-border financial infrastructure.
The Sentinel Chain-Token (SENC) will be an ERC20-compatible token on the public Ethereum blockchain that allows global financial service providers and cryptocurrency holders to participate in the Sentinel Chain marketplace. So SENC will drive all the transactions on Sentinel Chain platform.
Sentinel Chain looks to be an interesting project and if they can create an infrastructure to help financial inclusion of farmers it can be a game changer. Obviously it needs to be seen how they roll out and how they integrate and partner with local financial players to ensure they deliver value on the ground we will be tracking this project and I am also trying to reach out to their team to understand this project more and hopefully update this post.