Since ages farmers are being robbed by being paid much less amount for the products they produce as compared to the actual price with which those items are sold in the market. Then there are various cases of middlemen hiding the fruits and veggies in cold storages for a long period of time so that they can earn extra profit over the items when the market goes scarce.
In addition, with COVID, the new normal, there has been an urgent need of making all the transactions as contact less and safe as possible.
So we came up with Cropify to connect farmers and customers directly!
What it does
Cropify lets farmers add their own fresh produce to the marketplace, and customers can purchase from them directly. The app will provide COVID information about the item's origin, thus letting customers make more informed decisions. To add items, farmers just need to take a picture of the item, and Google's Cloud Vision will recognize it and produce a list of tags to use. They then add more details like price and location, and add it to our firebase firestore.
Now, when a customer wants to search for a product, such as "Apples", they would get a list of sellers selling it in different locations. They can choose the best deal and make the purchase.
It also allows users to search for a farm nearby using Google Maps API and the number of COVID cases in that region using this API endpoint.
How we built it
We first thought of creating a web app platform to support this feature. But then we thought, since the major users are farmers, we should make a more easy to use app.
We brainstormed and finalized what we want and how we want it to be. One of us then created a wire frame on paper for the reference.
We started with the blank expo app and added the authentication functionality using firebase. Then, one of our members took the task for using Google Vision API and the rest of us worked on the UI of the app. We embedded the Vision part in our app and then added the feature to input rest of the details and publish it. We then coded up the search functionality, where the user can type in an item name , and used React Carousel to display the results in form of swipe-able cards.
Meanwhile, one of our hacker was working on to code the Google map part, where anyone can enter a farm/city name and get the number of COVID cases in that region.
Challenges we ran into
We couldn't get an API endpoint which could get us the COVID data for all possible locations on earth, so we instead narrowed our focus over a country, and in our case, we chose India. In technical aspects, we did not have very deep knowledge of firebase, so it took as some time to figure out the things by experimenting and learning.
Also owing to the virtual nature of the hackathon, communicating with team mates was really troublesome . Timezone difference could also have been an issue, but we collaborated and synchronized ourselves so that someone is working for the entire duration of the event.
Two of our members used React Native for the first time, and it took them some time to get initiated with it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to complete a fully functional app in the limited time frame , with not so bad UI.
We were able to integrate Google Cloud APIs into the app, which was really daunting initially, but then everything just worked out.
What we learned
We learned how to divide the entire work into modules and sync the team to complete those. We learned how to leverage the API's available and use them the way we want.
We learned why firebase is so cool, and would definitely check out more of its features.
What's next for Cropify
Changes and improvements will be made in Cropify over the period of time where various functionality features like Short Term COVID Forecasting will be done and taking that into account the Safety Score of the region will be calculated. Also User testing of the App will be used as a feedback metric to have future improvements.
We are Cropify and here are we to Serve the Farmers. We hope you like it!