IBM Research and agri-tech start-up Hello Tractor have developed an AI and blockchain-driven platform for Africa’s farmers. The two companies will pilot the product in 2019 through an ongoing partnership, co-financed by IBM.
The cloud-based service –dubbed ‘Digital Wallet’ in beta- aims to support Hello Tractor’s business of connecting small-scale farmers to equipment and data analytics for better crop production. The start-up joined IBM Research to demo the new service at Startup Battlefield Africa in Lagos.
Available to Hello Tractor clients, the online platform will use a digital ledger and machine learning to capture, track, and share data, while “creating end-to-end trust and transparency across the agribusiness value chain,” according to an IBM release.
Digital Wallet will draw on remote and IoT-based weather-sensing methods and AI to help farmers determine crops and inputs, choose when to plant and optimize and predict crop yields.
According to an article on techcrunch.com, the cloud-based dashboard also employs a blockchain ledger to improve multiple points of Hello Tractor’s business.