Inspirational ideas: FarmHackNL connects farmers with customers, techies and hackers
FarmHackNL connects farmers with customers, techies and hackers
Bringing together farmers, IT suppliers, technology experts, investors and other relevant actors will lead to new digital applications that are adapted to the real needs of farmers. That is one of the aims of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) which are mushrooming all over the European Union. Initiatives such as FarmHackNL can play a major role in initiating DIHs. FarmHackNL is a privately run network organisation that focuses on using digital technology to generate innovations in agriculture. Josien Kapma, co-founder of FarmHackNL, explains: “More and more people are using technology to develop radically new solutions.”
FarmHackNL facilitates on-farm hackathons built up around challenges and ideas of individual farmers. Kapma mobilises creative people, who use their expertise in designing solutions for ICT issues in agriculture: “Teams of coders, hackers and designers work for 32 hours and try to solve as many problems on the farm as they can, or develop an idea. Potato farmer Jacob van den Borne, for example, was looking for ways to visualise his data, to be able to make better decisions on the farm and in the field.” The interdisciplinary teams came up with three solutions, the winning idea being software to program an on-machine camera to take automated pictures of points of interest in the field.
Kapma concludes: “FarmHackNL also supports FarmHack.org, a worldwide community of farmers that build and modify their own tools. They share their hacks online and at FarmHack events, because ‘we become better farmers when we work together’.”