Blockchain for Agro-Waste Traceability and Transparency

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Blockchain for agro-waste traceability and transparency involves using blockchain technology to track and trace agricultural waste throughout the supply chain, from generation to final disposal or utilization. This approach aims to improve transparency, accountability, and trust in agro-waste management systems, ensuring responsible handling and preventing illegal dumping or improper disposal.

Impact on climate action

Blockchain for Agro-Waste Traceability and Transparency in Agro-Waste Management enhances climate action by optimizing waste management processes. By providing transparent and traceable data on waste generation, disposal, and recycling, this innovation enables efficient resource utilization, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes circular economy practices, mitigating environmental impact.


  • Blockchain Technology: Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows for secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. In the context of agro-waste traceability, blockchain can be used to record information about each step in the waste management process, creating a permanent and verifiable record of the waste’s journey.
  • Data Collection and Integration: Data on agro-waste, such as its origin, composition, quantity, and processing methods, is collected and stored on the blockchain. This data can be collected from various sources, including sensors, RFID tags, and manual input.
  • Smart Contracts: Smart contracts can automate certain processes within the agro-waste management system, such as payments to waste collectors or verification of waste disposal methods, based on predefined rules and conditions.
  • Decentralization: Blockchain enables a decentralized system for agro-waste traceability, where multiple stakeholders, such as farmers, waste collectors, processors, and regulators, can access and contribute to the data on the blockchain.

TRL : 5-6

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Agro-Waste Traceability Platforms: Startups are developing blockchain-based platforms specifically designed for agro-waste traceability, providing tools for data collection, tracking, and visualization. These platforms can help to identify waste generation hotspots, track waste flows, and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Integration with IoT and Sensor Technologies: Blockchain platforms are being integrated with IoT sensors and devices to collect real-time data on agro-waste, such as location, temperature, and composition. This data can be used to optimize waste collection routes, monitor waste processing facilities, and ensure proper disposal.
  • Waste Management Incentive Programs: Blockchain can be used to create incentive programs that reward farmers and other stakeholders for responsible agro-waste management practices.
  • Circular Economy Applications: Blockchain can facilitate the development of circular economy solutions for agro-waste, such as connecting waste generators with potential users for upcycling or recycling.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility
  • Automated Compliance Assurance
  • Real-time Monitoring and Optimization
  • Incentive Mechanisms for Sustainability
  • Transparent Accountability Platforms
  • Decentralized Data Sharing
  • Traceable Waste Flows
  • Immutable Waste Documentation
  • Predictive Analytics for Waste Management
  • Interoperable Waste Management Ecosystem
  • Secure Payment and Incentive Systems
  • Fostering Innovation through Collaboration
  • Scalable Solutions for Global Challenges
  • Privacy-Preserving Data Handling
  • Resilient Infrastructure for Crisis Response

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. Circularise:
    • Technology Enhancement: Circularise specializes in using blockchain technology to enable traceability and transparency in supply chains, particularly focusing on agro-waste management. Their platform utilizes blockchain to create an immutable record of transactions and data, allowing stakeholders to track the journey of agro-waste from its source to its final destination.
    • Uniqueness: Circularise distinguishes itself by offering a decentralized solution that provides transparency and traceability throughout the entire agro-waste supply chain. By leveraging blockchain technology, Circularise ensures that information regarding the origin, handling, and disposal of agro-waste is securely recorded and accessible to all relevant parties, enhancing trust and accountability.
    • End-User Segments: Circularise caters to various stakeholders in the agro-waste ecosystem, including farmers, food processors, waste management companies, and regulatory agencies. Their technology helps ensure compliance with environmental regulations, optimize waste management processes, and improve sustainability practices within the agriculture and food industry.
  2. Provenance:
    • Technology Enhancement: Provenance specializes in using blockchain technology to provide transparency and traceability in supply chains, with a specific focus on agro-waste traceability. Their platform enables stakeholders to track the entire lifecycle of agro-waste, from its source to its final disposition, using blockchain-based digital records.
    • Uniqueness: Provenance stands out for its user-friendly interface and customizable solutions tailored to the unique needs of agro-waste management. Their platform integrates seamlessly with existing systems and processes, allowing stakeholders to easily access and share information about the origin, quality, and sustainability credentials of agro-waste products.
    • End-User Segments: Provenance serves a wide range of stakeholders involved in agro-waste management, including farmers, food manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Their technology helps build trust and transparency in the supply chain, enabling informed decision-making, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability throughout the agro-waste value chain.
  3. WasteHero:
    • Technology Enhancement: WasteHero utilizes blockchain technology to enhance traceability and transparency in the management of agro-waste, focusing on optimizing waste collection and disposal processes. Their platform enables real-time tracking of waste collection activities, waste volumes, and disposal methods using blockchain-based digital records.
    • Uniqueness: WasteHero differentiates itself by offering a comprehensive waste management solution that combines blockchain technology with IoT (Internet of Things) devices and data analytics. By leveraging these technologies, WasteHero provides insights into waste generation patterns, optimizes collection routes, and ensures compliance with waste management regulations.
    • End-User Segments: WasteHero targets municipalities, waste management companies, and agricultural enterprises seeking to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their waste management practices. Their technology helps reduce operational costs, minimize environmental impact, and promote circular economy principles by optimizing the handling and disposal of agro-waste.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Wageningen University & Research:
    • Research Focus: Wageningen University & Research is at the forefront of research on Blockchain for Agro-Waste Management, focusing on developing decentralized and transparent systems to track the generation, collection, processing, and disposal of agricultural waste throughout the supply chain.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the integration of blockchain technology with Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, smart contracts, and data analytics to create immutable and auditable records of agro-waste transactions. They also explore the use of satellite imagery, geospatial data, and machine learning algorithms to monitor waste generation hotspots, optimize collection routes, and minimize environmental impact.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in crop residue management, food processing waste, and organic waste recycling, enabling stakeholders to achieve compliance with regulations, demonstrate sustainability practices, and improve resource efficiency. By leveraging blockchain for agro-waste traceability, Wageningen’s research contributes to reducing food loss, promoting circular economy principles, and enhancing supply chain transparency.
  2. University of California, Berkeley:
    • Research Focus: University of California, Berkeley conducts pioneering research on Blockchain for Agro-Waste Traceability, leveraging its expertise in distributed systems, cryptography, and sustainable agriculture to develop secure and interoperable platforms for tracking and managing agricultural waste streams.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses the design of permissioned blockchain networks, consensus mechanisms, and privacy-preserving techniques to ensure data integrity, confidentiality, and verifiability in agro-waste traceability systems. They also investigate the integration of remote sensing, blockchain oracles, and smart contracts to automate compliance monitoring and incentivize sustainable waste management practices.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in post-harvest handling, biorefining, and bioenergy production, facilitating the valorization of agricultural residues and by-products. By developing blockchain-enabled solutions for agro-waste management, UC Berkeley’s research supports the transition towards a more circular and resource-efficient agricultural sector, fostering innovation and collaboration across supply chain actors.
  3. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur:
    • Research Focus: IIT Kharagpur is engaged in innovative research on Blockchain for Agro-Waste Management, focusing on addressing the challenges of waste traceability, quality assurance, and value chain integration in the context of Indian agriculture.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the development of blockchain-based platforms tailored to the needs of smallholder farmers, cooperatives, and agribusinesses in diverse agricultural regions. They also explore the use of zero-knowledge proofs, sidechain solutions, and decentralized identifiers to enhance privacy, scalability, and interoperability in agro-waste traceability networks.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in biomass logistics, animal husbandry waste management, and urban agriculture, empowering stakeholders to optimize resource utilization, mitigate environmental pollution, and create new revenue streams from waste valorization. By pioneering blockchain technologies for agro-waste traceability, IIT Kharagpur’s research supports the development of sustainable and inclusive agri-food systems, promoting economic growth and environmental stewardship in rural communities.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Blockchain-based agro-waste traceability platforms are still in the early stages of commercial implementation, with several pilot projects and demonstrations underway. However, the technology is rapidly evolving, and its potential to transform agro-waste management is gaining increasing recognition.