Zebra Technology is looking to bring the power of data analytics to the farmer’s mind, by building a network that connects farmers, business owners and their communities.
Zebra is using blockchain technology to build what it describes as a ‘digital golden grid’, where it will gather and store information on farmers, their properties, the health of their farms and more.
It’s one of several blockchain-based initiatives aiming to transform the way farmers and their businesses operate, according to the company.
The company has launched the ‘EcoFarm’ project to test the technology and has partnered with Irish Data to make its products available for use in the Republic.
The farmer who uses Zebra’s technology says he wants to see the farm and its people integrated more seamlessly into the digital world.
He says the technology can be used to better manage and track the wellbeing of farmers and ensure they’re receiving the best possible treatment from their doctors.
It will be possible to connect a farmer to their ‘golden grid’ by using their farm address and the information it contains, and by adding ‘smart sensors’ on top of their properties to monitor them.
The farm address will be shared with the farm’s network and data on the properties will be tracked and aggregated, giving them the ability to track any change to the property.
The smart sensors will then be able to measure changes to the properties as well as their health and well-being.
“There are currently some farms that have a farm address that’s not publicly available and that’s where the information is stored,” says David Connolly, vice president of product development at Zebra.
“With this new technology, it’s possible to create a public blockchain of that farm address.”
Zebra says it will use the ‘gold standard’ of blockchain to make all of its products free and open source.
“With Zebra, we are making the blockchain as open as possible and allowing all of the users to use the blockchain,” he says.
Zebro’s technology is based on the idea that data can be made available on the blockchain, but with the added benefit of being accessible to anyone, regardless of where they are.
“This means that the information and data will be accessible to all and we can then connect them with farmers, people, businesses, individuals, and institutions,” he explains.
“Zebra can then provide a ‘gold chain’ of data, to enable farmers to get the best value out of their data.”
Connolly says it’s vital that farmers and other business owners have access to data.
“Farmers are in an incredible position now to make decisions on the farm.
It’s important that we have data that’s accessible to everyone,” he adds.”
We have a lot of data that farmers can’t access.”
If you have a data breach and you don’t have access, you lose your business.
“So we are going to work with businesses to build the infrastructure and make the data available.”
Connelly says the company is working with Irish data to make the farm address data available to the Irish public.
The Irish Farmers Association says the scheme has already seen an influx of applications.
“The Irish Data initiative is helping to support the growth of our country’s agricultural sector,” it says.
“We look forward to further collaboration with Zebra to bring Zebra technology to Ireland.”