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A Call for Code global finalist from China promotes green, transparent farming and builds confidence among local consumers

Green Farm is the 1st runner up in the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge and will receive USD $25K.

Agriculture accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. While sustainable farming plays an important role in helping reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, it still only represents a small share of all agricultural production. Community supported agriculture (CSA) has increased in popularity during recent years as an answer to this global challenge, especially during the supply chain disruptions and day-to-day hurdles consumers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the rapid growth of this type of farming model brings its own set of challenges. Small farmers struggle to ensure their planting methods are sustainable, eco-friendly, and transparent as they attempt to scale and reach new customers. It is difficult for them to experiment with alternative agricultural methods because of local volatility, both ecologically and in the market, brought on by climate change and the ongoing pandemic. Consumers, meanwhile, face uncertainty about the quality and availability of local produce.

Drawing on their experiences working at a large, international bank, the team behind Green Farm saw an opportunity to make a global difference on a local scale. Their digital solution, powered by open source technologies, is designed to connect small farmers with consumers and solve for the problems CSA organization face around the world. The Green Farm platform is underpinned by four key technological components and features. Consumers and farmers can connect in real-time using a live stream, helping to build community and grow hyper-local, tailored production. An augmented/virtual reality functionality allows users to get an on-the-ground view of local farms and farming conditions, right from their mobile devices. Machine learning algorithms powered by IBM Watson allow the platform to recommend suitable arable land, agriculture inputs, produce options, and prospective financial products to both producers and consumers. Finally, IBM Blockchain ensures the credibility and traceability of the sustainable farming process.

Green Farm’s VR functionality allows users to view plots of arable land and contract farmers to grow crops. The platform also features a marketplace where farmers can purchase green, carbon footprint-friendly agricultural products and obtain instructions for the entire sustainable growing cycle. When the farmer then plants crops using these products and instructions, Green Farm issues credentials to verify the farm’s sustainability, thereby building consumer trust. Once crops have matured, the farmer can either ship to the consumer who contracted the planting, or sell on the broader marketplace via the app. A social media plug-in functionality allows producers and consumers alike to share their experiences and build community interest.

The more local farmers and consumers use the app, the more traceable and accountable the entire process becomes — thereby building consumer trust in local CSA organizations. What’s more, the platform provides targeted financial support to users, setting up a federated learning network with different financial institutions involved to support growth. While the app is currently available globally on the Apple App Store, the Green Farm team hopes to have the platform hosted by the Linux Foundation to help scale their open source project to more developers and users.

Green Farm is making it easier for local communities to build sustainable agricultural production and consumption, connect farmers with new customers, and shrink the agricultural carbon footprint globally.

Attend the Call for Code Awards to find out who will win the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge.