Can new technologies shift global power geometries? An agricultural trade workshop with Caribbean partners in Edinburgh (£14,860, International Research and Partnership Fund)

Project Details


Although they must be applied with due consideration of stemming (rather than exacerbating) inequalities and fostering democratic deliberation (Manski, 2017), technologies such as blockchain provide an opportunity to rethink existing models of distribution and trade. Indeed, if co-developed with local stakeholders, blockchain could have a huge impact on lifting rural communities out of poverty by reducing external dependencies, developing market access to urban middle classes and increasing profits. Technologies such as blockchain can add some degree of predictability to sales and farmers’ income, which is often affected by unexpected fluctuations in the market, environmental and meteorological variability, and limited or no access to technical assistance or commercial channels. Blockchain can provide information and connect farmers to final consumers, supporting new relationships of trade. The project focuses on supporting inter-regional trade and development in the Caribbean, which is an important part of the Regional Food and Nutrition Security Policy of the Caribbean. The project will focus on consolidating partnership with academics from the University of the West Indies, in Mona, Jamaica andrepresentatives of the Eastern Caribbean Trading Agriculture and Development Organisation (ECTAD) based in St Vincent and the Grenadines. . The workshop event hosted in Edinburgh in June 2018 will involve strategic brainstorming, planning and a showcase of Caribbean products. At the successful completion of this project, all parties involved will have considered ways to enhance exchange between producers and consumers within and between Jamaica and St Vincent. They will have reflected on the potential of new technologies to support such exchange, and will have contributed ideas to develop a plan to support further investigation.
Effective start/end date2/04/1830/06/18


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