LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - The use of technology is key, especially when it comes to food and other industries, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday as he announced a plan with business leaders around the state.
The plan, called Blockchain for Arkansas, will allow blockchain technology to be used in tracking food in all aspects.
According to a media release from the Governor's office, the technology also allows a business or industry to store its data securely, access it quickly and offer transparency to all of its partners.
In addition to food, the system can be used in other industries like retail and logistics as well as the education system.
Hutchinson said while the technology is new, it can provide key services in a productive manner.
"Blockchain is a first-generation technology that has the potential to improve the delivery of goods and services in a full range of industries, especially the food industry," Hutchinson said. "Arkansas has an opportunity to be a leader in the application of blockchain technology by beginning an important conversation about aligning food-safety efforts throughout the state."
Several officials from companies around the state, including Riceland Foods, Walmart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt Transport Services, attended the meeting Wednesday in Little Rock.
Mariels Winhoffer, an official at both IBM and Walmart, said the system can help the state's economy.
"Arkansas has a unique advantage ... with some of the world's largest retailers and agricultural producers in our backyard. We want to harness Arkansas' unique agricultural and corporate landscape to define new skills, job roles and ways of working in the new blockchain market," Winhoffer said. "Not only will it create cost savings and efficiencies for farmers and businesses, but it will contribute to a safe, transparent and traceable food-supply chain for consumers."