RFID and Blockchain in Animal Husbandry and Dairying in India (2023)

RFID and Blockchain in Animal Husbandry and Dairying in India (1)

Animal epidemics, loss of livestock, low prices are all a major source of worry for livestock farmers all around the world. From farmers losing investments made in livestock to degradation in the quality of commodities and even the risk of transfer of disease to humans- pose a grave danger to the animal husbandry industry. To tackle these growing problems, scientists around the world have come up with several advanced level technologies.

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One way to tackle these growing problems is through better identification and tracking of animals. It can help the authorities to control exotic animal diseases and ensure the safety of native species. Furthermore, helping to strengthen the government's vaccination and disease prevention management of animals, improving the ability to diagnose and report animal diseases, as well as the emergency response to domestic and foreign animal epidemics while at the same time increasing the customer’s involvement in the process.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is one such technology identified to tackle these growing threats. Earlier being used to identify enemy jets in the skies, it has now made its way to local farms around the world. RFID refers to a technology whereby digital data encoded in smart labels is captured by a reader via radio waves. RFID methods utilize radio waves to automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and enter those data directly into computer systems with little or no human intervention. At a simple level, RFID systems consist of three components: an RFID tag or smart label, an RFID reader, and an antenna.

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Countries around the world are increasingly adopting new technologies to improve the quality of food provided and the health of the animals. In China, RFID technology has also been applied to food safety tracking management and has received strong support from many local governments. In May 2002, the Ministry of Agriculture issued the "Administrative Measures for Animal Immunization Markings", which stipulated that pigs, cattle, and sheep must wear ear tags for immunity and establish an immunization records management system. In 2012, New Zealand introduced the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) program with the objective of protecting livestock from disease. It aims to record the location and movement of individual animals and contact details of the person in charge of them.

‘Blockchain’ could be the next big innovation for the animal husbandry industry around the world. It is a sequence of blocks that holds a complete list of transaction records. It is a distributed ledger, or database, shared across a public or private computing network. Along with providing benefits like decentralization, transparency, and immutability, it also reduces reliance on third-party for verification of information.

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One of the major advantages of blockchain in the animal husbandry and dairying sector is that it disrupts the current methods used to convey food quality and safety adherence and will differentiate by enhancing traceability and trust. It also facilitates international trade by streamlining the process of import and export. It provides full transparency in the end-to-end order and delivery process by removing third party transactions, therefore, increasing the adherence to regulatory norms. Being a decentralized technology, it makes sure that all data is reviewed and validated by the network, ensuring its accuracy and validity. Furthermore, it helps in reducing the internal administration costs as lesser manual processes and paper usage are required. Food safety can be guaranteed by storing up-to-date, accurate quality assurance certificates on the blockchain and can be shared with the need to know parties. Moreover, it can also enhance the shopping experience of the consumers by sharing with them end-to-end supply chain information through augmented reality.

Farmers, too, would gain insights into their own farm performance metrics by this technology. They will be able to gain unfiltered customer feedback and gain a better understanding of the handling points across the food chain. Additionally, cattle trade would become more secure and all the involved parties would have access to legitimate animal records prior to making the purchase decision. Blockchain will also keep a record of all the transactions, ensuring that regulations are obeyed during the transactions. Blockchain, combined with advanced data analytics, will enable farmers to obtain an insight into their own farm performance metrics. Analytics will enable best in class practices to be shared with farmers across the network, thus, enabling greater education and adoption of efficient farming practices nationwide. Moreover, digitization of assets and storage of data will eliminate the need for paper, resulting in improved documentation. The capturing of data will enable performance benchmarking of farmers and make it easier for them to get approval on finance applications.

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Indian startups such as EmerTech Innovations have been using Blockchain to solve the problem of traceability in India, their developers have been working on Blockchain from even before it got famous because of ‘bitcoin’. This start-up has built a mobile application that will enable farmers to connect with the consumers and vice versa. The app provides information about fruits, vegetables, grains and other farm produce like milk and milk products sold in retail stores. The app named ‘AgroTrust’, is aimed at bringing in transparency in pricing and eliminating exploitation of farmers by middlemen. The startup won the Animal Husbandry Grand Startup Challenge hosted by Startup India and the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD).

The Indian government is making continuous efforts to join the technological revolution in the animal husbandry sector. The Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH) program of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is an ambitious program of the government to implant microchips for cattle identification to curb the stray animal menace and check insurance frauds.

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The stray animal nuisance has become a major problem in India as owners abandon their cattle after they stop yielding milk. Tracing the owners was a difficult task. Further, there is no mechanism to find out whether the stray cattle had been abandoned by the local farmers or released from borders of other states. The RFID tag would solve the identification problem. RFID tags act as the unique identification of the cattle. The tag is attached to the ear of an animal and the information about the animal is scanned and stored in a mobile device. The tag has a 12-digit identification number similar to the Aadhaar ID. Technicians affix the tag with a special tool, give the cattle’s owner a card recording the UID, owner name, breeding details, deworming and vaccination status. All the information is collected in an online database. The tag can be used not just to identify the animal and curb theft cases but also to procure data on the live weight gain of each animal. This can be used to send alerts through SMS to owners and veterinary doctors as per their need and also help prevent loan frauds as with the ID, the authorities will know whether the cattle were mortgaged before or not. The RFID-tag is cheap and the cost is worked out at Rs. 8 per tag thus, making it affordable to most farmers.

There is still a long way to go to incorporate these technologies into the Indian animal husbandry and dairying sector. However, steps are being taken in the right direction. As Mr. Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Department, said in a recent webinar held by ASSOCHAM on ‘Innovative Trends and Technological Advancement in Dairy Processing’, steps are being taken to improve the value chain through AI guns, collecting milk through automated processes, monitoring animals’ health through IoT and cloud-based technologies. Moreover, steps have also been undertaken to improve transparency and keep the customers in loop and make them aware of what they are purchasing. Therefore, it would be safe to say that India is on the right path and there exists a huge market for investments in the technological advancements in the animal husbandry and dairying sector in India.

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This article has been co-authored by Sanya Talwar and Amrit Chadha.


What is RFID tag for cattle in India? ›

ETS-RT 05 is a special purpose UHF tag that is designed for application on animal ears especially for the purpose of livestock management. It is applied to the ears of the animals by which they can be identified and tracked using Long Range Reader and Handheld terminals.

How can RFID be used to track animals? ›

RFID tags attached to an individual animal can hold basic data, like its birth date, breeding details, and what inoculations it has received. Since tags can detect if an animal is unwell, livestock owners can address any health problems before they get out of control.

What is RFID livestock? ›

In livestock management, RFID is used to identify and track individual animals, including cows, bison, pigs, goats and more. A tamper-proof RFID tag in a durable plastic case is attached to the ear of each animal via an easy-to-use applicator tool.

What is the benefit of using RFID tags for increasing the productivity at Chitale? ›

Chitale Dairy uses the data to track blood profiles and the nutrition requirements of cows, such as whether the animals are getting the proper iron or calcium. From the data received by RFID tags, Chitale Dairy performs mineral mapping and blood profiling.

Where is RFID used in India? ›

Using a combination of hardware and software solutions, we have helped organizations across diverse industry verticals including Automotive, Pharma, FMCG, Consumer durable, Oil & Gas and Retail item level RFID applications in automating their manufacturing operations.

Why are cows tagged in India? ›

Ear tags help us to keep track and record information such as gender, age, weight, when a cow last calved, number of calves she has had, etc.

What are three types of tag technology used to track animals? ›

Scientists use three different types of radio tracking systems: VHF radio tracking, satellite tracking, and global positioning system tracking. Radio tracking technology makes it possible to know precisely where animals are at any time. It's even possible to determine what an animal is doing.

Can RFID track your location? ›

Passive RFID systems do not actively track movement in real-time. They can only track assets and people when they pass through a gateway or near a reader. The drawback to this kind of system is that it has a limited range. The tag is only powered by the radio signal that it receives from the RFID locator.

What frequency is animal RFID? ›

Animal RFID Tags

The RFID tags for animals are available at a variety of frequencies that include 134 kHz low frequency, 134.2 kHz frequency, 125 kHz low frequency and 860 MHz to 960 MHz operation frequency.

What is RFID tags for dairy? ›

What is an RFID or an EID tag for cattle? An EID tag is a small button that contains an embedded microchip that attaches to a regular cattle tag. Each tag and chip have the same unique 15-digit number—one for visual identification and one to use with an electronic reader.

What does RFID stand for in animals? ›

RFID stands for “radio frequency identification.” When the animal is in range of a reader, an antenna in the reader transmits a radio signal to activate the RFID chip. The chip then sends back a signal containing the animal's identification number.

Can RFID be used in food industry? ›

include those for supply chain management, temperature monitoring of foods, and ensuring food safety. In supply chain management, RFID tags are used to track food products during distribution and storage. RFID technology serves as a replacement for barcode scanners for this particular applica- tion.

What are the 3 benefits of RFID? ›

  • It Increases Operational Efficiency. ...
  • It Eliminates Human Error. ...
  • It Reduces Capital Costs. ...
  • It Grants Access to Real-Time Data. ...
  • Offers Insights for Better Decision Making.
Aug 14, 2019

What is the positive impact of RFID? ›

RFID systems offer benefits for businesses of all sizes, allowing them to rapidly improve efficiency and reduce cost by automating processes and improving utilisation of assets and quality. RFID can form the basis of an effective asset management system and is also at the heart of the Internet of Things.

Who provides RFID technology in India? ›

AeoLogic is one of the leading RFID solutions provider companies in India, offering wide range of RFID solutions for different applications using –passive RFID-Readers and passive RFID-TAGS.

When was RFID first used in India? ›

RFID technology came into being in the year 1945. However, the mainstream use of this technology in the commercial sector began in the 1980s.

What is the cost of RFID tag in India? ›

NEW DELHI: The focus on indigenisation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, which are being used for all railway wagons, coaches and locomotives, has helped reduce the cost drastically. While in 2017, the per tag cost was estimated around Rs 1,000, domestic players are making them available at Rs 250.

Why do cows have 2 ear tags? ›

The ear tag is the link to each calf's lineage, which becomes beneficial for breeding purposes down the road. The ear tag allows farmers to record a cow's body temperature, health and medication history and even the composition of each cow's milk.

What does a red tag on a cow mean? ›

The cattle donned red, white or blue ear tags to help identify which time of the year they calved or will calve.

What are the advantages of ear tagging cattle? ›

Ear tags provide a visual aid for unique identification (such as a flock or premise number) and can help to identify sex, year of birth, sire, dam and much more.

How do animal tracking devices work? ›

In GPS tracking, a radio receiver, not a transmitter, is placed on the animal. The radio receiver picks up signals from special satellites. The receiver has a computer that then calculates the location and movement of the animal. The data gathered by the receiver is then sent to another set of satellites.

What is digital tracking of animals? ›

A GPS tag calculates the location of an animal at specific time intervals using positions estimated by a network of satellites.

How do GPS trackers work on animals? ›

GPS tracking device - Includes the transmitter, power supply (battery), antenna, casing to hold it all together and a collar, harness or adhesive to attach the transmitter to the animal. These send data via satellite to a desktop computer, which dramatically increases the ability to gather and analyse movement data.

Can my cell phone read RFID? ›

Yes, you can use your phone as RFID tag. For Android or Windows phones you enable NFC.

Does RFID block cell phone? ›

Regulators carefully apportion the radio frequency spectrum to avoid having one RF device interfere with another. So radio frequency identification generally is given a piece of the spectrum that will not interfere with cell phones.

Do cell phones affect RFID? ›

There are four primary bands used by cell phone carriers—850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 1,900 MHz. The 865 to 868 MHz portion of the spectrum was carved out for radio frequency identification so that it would not cause interference with other systems, and so other systems would not affect RFID.

How much data can RFID transmit? ›

Standard RFID can only retain 128 bits of data, however, RFID with a larger storage capacity can hold up to 256 bits of data.

How far does RFID signal travel? ›

Active RFID systems typically operate in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band and offer a range of up to 100 m. In general, active tags are used on large objects, such as rail cars, big reusable containers, and other assets that need to be tracked over long distances.

What animals can detect radio waves? ›

So to date, we don't know of any organisms that can detect or communicate with radio frequency signals.

What are the two types of RFID tags? ›

There are a variety of RFID tags on the market today, differentiated by frequency range (low, high and ultra-high). Each RFID type can be either active (powered), passive (un-powered) or semi-passive (battery-assisted).

What three types of RFID tags are available for use? ›

RFID tags can be grouped into three categories based on the range of frequencies they use to communicate data: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF).

Where are RFID tags used? ›

Some common uses for RFID applications include:
  • pet and livestock tracking.
  • inventory management.
  • asset tracking and equipment tracking.
  • inventory control.
  • cargo and supply chain logistics.
  • vehicle tracking.
  • customer service and loss control.
  • improved visibility and distribution in the supply chain.

Are RFID tags required for cattle? ›

Jan. 1, 2023 – RFID ear tags will be required for beef and dairy cattle and bison moving interstate. All male dairy cattle born after March 11, 2013. Cattle staying on the farm will not be required to have an RFID tag.

What is RFID technology in agriculture? ›

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology which helps to improve the management of information flow within the supply chain and security in the agri-food sector. RFID is already being used for years in animal identification and tracking and in the food chain for traceability control.

What is RFID technology used for? ›

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that uses radio waves to passively identify a tagged object. It is used in several commercial and industrial applications, from tracking items along a supply chain to keeping track of items checked out of a library.

What is a benefit of RFID to the agricultural industry? ›

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that has been used to identify and track livestock animals. You'll find RFID in action on dairy farms for example, where cows often have high-tech collars that help the farmer track how much the cow is eating and how much milk she is producing.

What costs are reduced during a food recall if the food has RFID tags? ›

RFID-enabled efficiencies can cut labor costs by as much as 50% in the food supply chain, according to Avery Dennison.

What is RFID in food retail? ›

By adding a unique identifier and online connectivity to every item in any inventory, RFID-enabled labels let grocers, restaurants, convenience stores and food suppliers dramatically improve inventory management, efficiency, traceability, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.

Why do you need RFID? ›

In short, RFID chips embedded in various cards and passports contain information that is conveyed via radio waves. It makes for quicker transactions or transits because it allows scanners to pick up the information with less physical interaction.

What are the pros and cons of using RFID? ›

To ensure you receive the most ROI, consider the following pros and cons before investing in RFID for your retail business.
  • PRO: Inventory control. ...
  • PRO: Enhanced data and inventory detail. ...
  • PRO: Smart shelving. ...
  • PRO: Cut checkout wait times. ...
  • CON: Security. ...
  • CON: Privacy and transparency. ...
  • CON: Cost and integration.
Feb 21, 2023

How does RFID help prevent theft? ›

RFID tracking for products and employees allows you to find the likely suspect simply by pulling up the access history for each worker. Combining this information with your security surveillance system, you should be able to build a comprehensive case against the thief.

How safe is RFID technology? ›

RFID credit cards are considered to be as safe as EMV chip cards, and data theft concerning RFID cards is uncommon. This is because of how these cards transmit information and what information is shared. Unlike traditional credit cards, RFID cards use one-time codes to complete each transaction.

What are the risks of RFID? ›

Like most technologies and networks, RFID systems are also vulnerable to physical and electronic attacks, namely reverse engineering, power analysis, eavesdropping, sniffing, denial of service, cloning, spoofing, and viruses.

What are the challenges of RFID technology? ›

The major challenge is the price and return on investment (ROI) in the implementation of RFID technology. Companies have to bear the cost of all RFID elements; RFID tags, readers, hardware, software along with the routine maintenance.

What is an example of RFID system? ›

For one specific example, if running shoes were RFID enabled (the item itself, not the packaging), your phone or watch could recognize when you are wearing those shoes on a run.

How RFID can be used for locating and tracking people? ›

As that person moves around the store, different RFID tag scanners located throughout the store can pick up radio signals from the RFID tags carried on that person and the movement of that person is tracked based on these detections....

Can RFID tags be used for tracking? ›

Yes, RFID tags can be tracked. They can be tracked automatically using active RFID tags or manually using passive RFID tags. To be tracked RFID tags provide data related to where they have been and where they currently are.

How are RFID tags being used to return pets to owners? ›

Once the microchip is read the number will be searched using an online database where your contact information will be found and your pet can be returned to you. There will also be an external tag provided for your pet's collar that contains a unique number.

What can be used to track animals? ›

What is animal tracking?
  • GPS. A GPS tag calculates the location of an animal at specific time intervals using positions estimated by a network of satellites. ...
  • Argos Doppler. ...
  • Radio telemetry. ...
  • Acoustic telemetry. ...
  • Geolocation. ...
  • Banding or ringing. ...
  • Bio-logging.

Can my phone scan RFID? ›

Yes, you can use your phone as RFID tag. For Android or Windows phones you enable NFC.

Can RFID tags be hacked? ›

As some chips are rewritable, hackers can even delete or replace RFID information with their own data. It's not too tricky for a hacker build his or her own RFID scanner if they wanted to. It's easy to purchase the parts for the scanner, and once built, someone can scan RFID tags and get information out of them.

Can RFID be used on humans? ›

The RFID chip is very similar to a bar code label as it also typically works with a scanner or reader, although it has a wider scope. You can use it for almost anything: clothes, shoes, vehicles, animals, and even people.

Do RFID tags prevent theft? ›

RFID security tags are the simplest way for your business to keep track of inventory, shipments, and protect against theft. Small, inexpensive, and effective, if you don't currently use them then you need to seriously reconsider!

Are animal microchips RFID? ›

Pet microchips are a simple and safe technology

Microchips are biocompatible, cause little to no reaction in the body, and contain basic radio frequency identification technology (RFID). The microchip is a passive device, activated only by a microchip scanner operating on the same frequency.

Can RFID be tracked remotely? ›

RFID tags can be integrated with sensors and GPS technology to provide asset condition data, in addition to location information. By integrating the solution with a wireless LAN, assets can be identified and located remotely in seconds. Inventory tracking times can be reduced from days down to hours.

How accurate is RFID location tracking? ›

Active tags can tell you that an item is within 300 feet of a reader, but there are also active RFID real-time location systems (RTLS) that can triangulate on a tag and tell you its location to within 10 feet. Active ultra-wideband (UWB) systems can tell you the location of a tagged asset to within a few centimeters.

Can GPS be used to track animals? ›

These use a radio frequency to locate the animals in the field using either a hand held or stationary antennae. GPS tracking device - Includes the transmitter, power supply (battery), antenna, casing to hold it all together and a collar, harness or adhesive to attach the transmitter to the animal.

How long do animal trackers last? ›

Because a radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant like a microchip doesn't require a power source like a battery, you don't have to worry about keeping it charged or replacing it—it will last the lifetime of your pet.

How do GPS trackers on animals work? ›

Rather than a transmitter, a radio receiver is placed on the animal, and the receiver picks up signals from at least 4 special satellites orbiting the Earth. A computer on the receiver calculates the animal's location, sends this data to another set of satellites, and these send to scientists.


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