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Input value chain/Ethiopia - Over 5 million Ethiopian farmers to benefit from IBM's ECX Traceability System

24 November 2015

The Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) has officially launched its IBM-enabled national traceability system, known as eATTS. With numerous industry partners in the large-volume green coffee trading and buying segment, as well as collaboration with USAID, the U$4.5 million program is rolling out as a pilot format in 2015’s harvest season. The ECX traceability system will encompass over five million smallholder farmers engaged in producing multiple commodities traded at the ECX. The system, which will begin by piloting with coffee, is expected to increase exports of high-quality Ethiopian coffee world-wide and enhance market access for specialty coffee from Ethiopia. The objectives, scope and functioning of the initiative was made public by ECX to representatives from the Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, suppliers and exporters, development agencies and the private sector. The traceability initiative is led and owned by ECX. According to the Mission Director of USAID Ethiopia, launch of eATTS is a multi-stakeholder traceability initiative that combines market development and ground-break technology to meet international demands and strengthen the entire agricultural value chain. True traceability goes beyond commodity type or origin to trace not only where the commodity has been but also to track the footprint of agricultural products: where and when it was washed, stored, who sampled and graded it and when it was shipped. All of these facts will help improve ability to move commodities traded within exchange and create premium value for all stakeholders in agricultural value chain, explained ECX CEO. Buyers of commodities have become more discerning and willing to pay for quality, environmentally-friendly and origin-specific commodities. Additionally, international buyers are increasingly demanding transparency and accountability within supply chains, so as to ensure the quality, consistency and safety of their products. To meet these demands, ECX and other partners are implementing a wide array of new initiatives, including electronic tracking of bags, innovations in washing and processing, streamline storage and transportation processes. The new tagging system is running on IBM and Frequenz IRIS technology, links bags of crops traded through the ECX to one of over 2,500 geo-referenced washing, hulling and cleaning stations located in Ethiopia's southern, central and western regions. The traceability system will utilize IBM's powerful cloud platform, analytics and mobile to provide ECX with continuous real-time data insights that enable the system to learn and predict the quality, said IBM General Manager for East Africa.



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