Global Technology Platform Puts Small Farmers on the Map

Bluenumber and Greenfence are transforming global Food & Agriculture systems by building a platform economy on mobile technology to map and connect millions of small farmers to help them feed themselves and the planet…

NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Who grows your food? Today, technology can name our Uber drivers, identify helpers in a store, or government workers, and even recognise faces of family and friends in our photos – but the farmers, fishers, truckers, processors, packers, inspectors and others responsible for our food are untraceable and invisible. Supermarket labels cannot assure us if billions of small producers earn enough to feed themselves, put children to work, or live as slaves. Labels reassure that the hens laying our eggs range cage-free on verdant pasture – but cannot guarantee that kids have not sacrificed their childhood harvesting cocoa beans for our chocolate. Greenfence and the Bluenumber Foundation are teaming-up to change this. Together they are transitioning the food and agriculture sector into a technology-driven ‘platform economy’ to plug serious gaps in knowing people and connections within food systems.

According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations (UN), the livelihood of an estimated 2 billion people in the developing world depend on 500 million small farms. UN figures show that most of the 795 million hungry worldwide are farmers. The combined population of all G7 countries (UK, USA, Germany, Japan, France, Italy and Canada) is only 750 million.

Bluenumber Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in New York, maintains an independent, neutral registry of ‘bluenumbers’: unique identifiers for farmers to publicly self-declare who they are, where they are and what they produce. This directory is displayed on BlueView – a global map and shared registry resource.

Greenfence harmonizes teams, systems and communications on a single platform within a single user window. Every organisation in a food value chain, and every department or individual within those organisations can engage, organise and manage all relevant data, all business partners, and all reporting in a single, seamless, fully interoperable environment.

Together, Bluenumber Foundation and Greenfence span the full spectrum of actors, their values, needs and technology requirements in any food and agriculture system on the planet. From the smallest farmers at the base of the pyramid to the largest multinational corporations, anyone joining the platform can connect, trade, train or be trained, share and learn, and contribute more productively in food systems – wherever they are starting from and to whatever level they wish to rise.

Mitchell Chait, CEO of Greenfence says “All actors in local and global food systems can be brought together in a ‘platform economy eco-system’ to leverage the scale of the global food economy, using what is today affordable and ubiquitous technology – the smartphone. We are optimising value chains and we ensure that farmers are properly valued. We want food systems to share the value they create.Integrating bluenumbers means even the smallest farmers in developing countries are included.”

Bluenumbers make people visible and allow farmers to take control of their identity, and it ensures they are recognised within food systems. As a comprehensive authentication gateway, Greenfence offers the food industry’s first remote auditing and certification platform, and allows farmers to grow their skills and connect to markets locally and globally.

“We are very pleased to partner seamlessly with Greenfence to enable small farmers to leap directly into the Information Era. Practical features such as mobile banking, connecting them directly with buyers, and providing access to loans and insurance gives them greater control in food systems,” said Puvan Selvanathan, CEO of Bluenumber Foundation.

Bluenumbers and Greenfence allow any farmer to both be recognised and discovered by the public using data they choose to share and show. Any farmer with a bluenumber can seamlessly join the Greenfence platform and enjoy features to access markets, transact directly with business partners, and benefit from training on better practices. All Greenfence platform services are free for the farmer. For small farmers in developing countries using this platform on their smartphones offers life-changing opportunities at zero cost.

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