E-Agriculture Apps Offer Farmers Tech that Optimize Farming and Promote the Green Movement
Oct 21, 2015 11:00 PM EDT | By Mikey Blanco
The power of mobile apps is finally making its presence known to a previously non-digital field: agriculture. The pioneers of this "e-agriculture" technology are farmers in Ireland and their app Herdwatch had also recently won the Net Visionary Award for Innovation. The app allows farmers to monitor their herds via smartphone, tablet, or computer, AgriLand reported.
Herdwatch is the product of a partnership between FRS Network, a farmer-owned Irish co-operative and their IT manager Fabien Peyaud, EurActiv noted. The initial concept and most of the research and development are Peyaud's. Herdwatch helps farmers reduce paperwork and time on farm compliance. This allows more time to be spent managing the farm itself which is responsible for the food security of millions, if not billions, of people.
Herdwatch helps dairy, suckler, and beef farmers by offering remedies compliance, calf registration, paperless movement certs, full breeding cycle management, quick weight recording, and much more. It is approved by the Department of Agriculture and ICBF. It also works even when offline!
Map Your Meal is another app designed for both farmers and consumers. It is currently in the development stage but aims to promote public awareness of where their food comes from every step of the way. It is an EU-funded initiative and includes Cyprus, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, and the UK.
The app will scan food products and will display how "fair" and "green" they are. Consumers will be able to track where food products come from at every stage from production to selling. The app will also include a product's socioeconomic and environmental impact to all parties, including farmers and local communities. Basically, the app offers a peek into a product's Fairness and Greenness Indicator.
The app will inform on a certain product's usage of GMOs, pesticides, distance of transportation, and more. Their database is being grown to accommodate as many products as possible. Kelly Garifalli, researchers at Map Your Meal, says that they plan to roll out the app by next April.
Support from the government has been crucial and Dr. Adam Ulrich, Secretary General of the European Agricultural Machinery (CEMA), said that "Digital technologies are set to transform the world of agriculture in the years ahead and will fundamentally reshape the agri-food value chain in Europe and beyond."
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