A male farmer who is using a shovel to dig the soil in his rice fields.

Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Alibaba, is partnering up with pharmaceutical giant Bayer Crop Science to develop a blockchain solution for agricultural product monitoring, Ledger Insights reported on 26 September.

According to the publication, the new partnership was announced during this year’s Apsara Conference in Hangzhou, China. The two firms have signed a letter of intent to develop a blokchain-based system, which will be aimed at improving farmers’ incomes, increasing efficiency, and helping the digitization of agriculture. The Vice President and General Manager of Ant Financial’s Intelligent Technology Group, said:

“Agriculture is the foundation of human civilization. Together with Bayer, our exploration of blockchain in agriculture will improve the transparency and responsiveness of its supply chain, and bring more value to consumers, farmers and the society.”


Reportedly, Ant Financial’s Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offers support for both its own platform and Hyperledger’s Fabric. The company is also planning to extend its partnership with Hyperledger, in order to work on interoperability, standards, and blockchain applications.

Alibaba’s fintech arm has made a number of investments into the blockchain space over the past year alone. In May it participated in a $10 million Series A funding round for QEDIT, which is an Israeli blockchain privacy solutions firm developing zero knowledge proof (ZKP) technology.

Its latest announcement from earlier this month mentioned that the company is developing a blockchain-based charity system, which will improve transparency and ensure that charities don’t fiddle with the donations.