My Farmer ~ Hack + Bot Concept

Westpac “BizHack” Hackathon – 2018

We got together with several different companies in teams of 10 to try and solve some of the australia’s big problems over two days. Our problem space was based around helping the agriculture sector.

Problem statements:

How might we bring producers and consumers closer together to allow faster insights about customer preferences, facilitate better decision making and increased agility for farmers and enhanced trust between farmers and consumers (ie trust in sustainable practices, in traceability and quality)?

AND

How might we increase decision making certainty for producers in an uncertain, unpredictable environment (ie alleviate risk)?

 

During this hackathon we went through design thinking processes such as:

  • Research – into the stakeholders and their biggest concerns, and other solutions that have tackled this space
  • Ideation – collecting everyone’s ideas, rapidly iterating on them and choosing the most impactful
  • User Interviews and testing – to validate our concept to see if they would use it and iterate further to better suit their needs
  • Prototyping – built a paper prototype to help imagine what the service could look like

 

Our solution was My Farmer 

Connecting health and ethically minded consumers directly to Australian organic farmers. A community application where the consumer could get to know exactly where their produce is coming from, tell other users about their experience and filter by their preferences like organic, free range or ugly food. This was very similar to the concept of Aussie Farmers Direct, a company that some of the consumers we interviewed were previously using before the company went under, however it added more of an interactive environment for both the farmers and produce eaters.

Directly connecting consumers to their local farmers would also create the opportunity for a whole lot of data that could be leveraged to help the farmer. This could give insights such as the most popular order, the common location of customers and what are local customers ordering for potential crops. Of course, most crops could not be instantly changed, but these insights would still give value and help in decision making for an agricultural business. On this note, we interviewed banking leaders in the agriculture sector who worked with farmers every day and they argued that most small business farmers simply did not have the time to digest data and work out what it meant for their produce. We did not dive too deep into how to solve for this, however I did build a basic conversational experience to think about how we could deliver some of these insights and numbers in the most effortless way possible.

Farm Assistant Concept

 

*Note: Farm icons taken from free resource – https://www.sketchappsources.com/free-source/3220-farming-icons-sketch-freebie-resource.html