To support the small farmland farmers by smart technology, the block chain e-commerce platform should provide the following functions:
1. Data Collection
The platform should collect and provide enough data to let the buyers and the farmers. The data would include only only the market information but also data about the production and environment. The information and the data can be traced and tracked. In the futures market and bidding system, the smart contract will be setup. A login and credential system will guarantee the identity of the user and the accuracy of the data. The data should also consider the language and culture of the farm location and market. Translation is very important.
2. Provide authorized and immutable Data
The platform should guarantee the upload of the data is accurate and authorized. The data in the database is also need to be immutable. The data need to be easily checked by the stakeholders and shared. The data should not be too scientific and difficult to understand.
3. Data Analyze and Presentation
The platform should analyze and present the result to both the farmer and buyers. To the farmer, the price in the market is the most important and to the buyer, the data should be easy to understand.
4. A tracking and tracing system
A tracking or tracing system is very important for the buyer as they concern about the quality of the products and the logistic of the goods. The platform need to collect and preserve the data in the database and has a strong connection with the logistic company. The buyer can easy check the recorded data and monitor the logistic.
5. A smart contract system
Many article and theory in agriculture auction and bidding such as: “Bidding application in Amazon web services for the sales of agricultural products” (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7569527)
Now the smart contract and the block chain technology make the theory doable. The data for futures market and bidding system is for forecasting. The data can come from the authorities such as observatory, university or even local government.
6. Payment gateway service
The platform should provide the payment service only only for the buyer, but also for the small farmland farmers as the bank support for them is weak. As the buyer may pay in foreign currency the platform should provide the foreign exchange service to the farmers.
Different types of technology would be utilized to meet our targets:
1. Collecting the data
There are many official website that can download local weather information by RESTAPI or GraphQL. GPS positioning and mapping data can be easily to get from Google map service. Of course, it is the best to get the data from local government. The images of the farm would be collected, analyzed and presented.
2. Communication between different system
MQTT is the main protocol to transmit the data from the sensor to the platform. Image would be directly uploaded by FTP protocol. Most of the data is in JSON format. A Raspberry pi would become an intermediate system to pack the raw data to JSON and send to the platform. Until now 3G/4G and WiFi is the main system to connect the remote farm to the internet.
3. Data analysis
Python with OpenCV library is good enough to check the shape, size and colour of the crop. Python’s scikit-learn library with numpy and pandas would be used to make the prediction in linear regression.
4. Data presentation
JSON is the easy data format to understand . Charts, tables and images is easy to understand. Python with numpy, pandas and matplotlib library is the best tool to present the data in charts or graphs. The platform will prevent showing difficult jargon or scientific terms to the common buyers.
5. Data verifying and immutable.
Block Chain consensus system with SHA256 hash code will guarantee the immutable of the data. The consensus system will share the data with other nodes and let the buyers in oversea market can track and trace the products.
6. The futures market and bidding system:
The Smart Contract will be implement in the futures market and the bidding system. The smart contract will be uploaded to the block chain and finish the consensus with other block chain nodes. The PGP signature verification system is needed. To settle the payment of the contract and place the bid in the system, a certain kind of the crypto-currency or crypto-token will be utilized. The Dapp is going to develop to allow the buyer to bid the products in real time by mobile equipment.
Most of the technologies above are mature and tested and they are all open-sourced. The cost of the smart farm will be greatly reduced and the system is much easy to handle. The motto of our system is: enough data for the market and suitable technology for the farm.