Farmers often have to pair up with big corporations in unfair partnership agreements because farmers who plant their crops are in debt and are financially insecure. The typical grower with two chicken houses borrows a loan of 500 thousand dollars and earns 18 thousand dollars a year according to food inc. This allows corporations to abuse these farmers and manipulating them into doing what they want, at risk of a contract loss. It's absolutely devastating for farmers since they have no say in their business and financially their issues are not improving but are rather crumbling. It would be much better if people would directly buy food from farms but unfortunately, there is no platform for farmers to sell their products online. There is no help for farmers to sell their products as an individual.
Another issue that is often not spoken about and is a huge health hazard is how corporations use chemicals to keep their food fresh. The fresh food bought from the farmers are covered in chemicals to be preserved for the customers. It is difficult for common people to find nearby farms and buy their products easily. Due to this costumers often refer to corporations using unhealthy food tactics such as adding chemicals. It would be incredibly beneficial to the consumer and farmers if there was a platform which could help small businesses gain profit and help customers build healthy lifestyles.
Getting food from the source before it’s altered and drenched with chemicals is best. It is much easier to walk into Safeway or Costco and have everything you could want in front of you. We are here to change that and simplify getting fresh local food. Not only would you be doing your body a favor, but you would also be saving farmers from terrible contracts and large never-ending debts. This also makes sure that all farmers have one platform where they are able to sell their crops and the customer has easy access to getting all the fresh good they want.
We all recently watched an amazing documentary called, ”Food INC.” After watching the documentary we were surprised by the many problems with the industry . We were further disappointed when we found out that nothing was being done to fix these issues. We decided to take this issue in our own hands and help the poor farmers. We believe the app and web application we have constructed during the duration of this hackathon will help up reach our goal of helping farmers.
What it does
Farmerce helps farmers sell their products in one location. It is an application which lets farmers sell all of their crops independently rather then depending on corporations to sell it for them. It also helps regular customers buy directly from farmers rather then the corporations. All products are displayed in an organized manner helping customers buy from them quickly.
How we built it
We took a problem-solution approach to our project. We started by creating a list of issues that farmers face, then potential solutions to combat those problems. Afterwards we created a blueprint to our project on FIGMA. We had two members code on the website while 3 worked on the app. We used flutter which is google's UI Kit for making apps to create the application.
Challenges we ran into
Some challenges we ran into for the website included unable to connect to the db. Some challenges we ran into for the app included working with the errors with the geocoder API. Due to having some incompatible data types, we kept receiving error from the flutter compiler. Some external challenges we ran into included one of our team member having to go through surgery as well as the hackathon taking place during our state testing.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Accomplishments that we are proud of was that we were able to create a fully developed web application and a mobile application. Other accomplishments include using new Firebase cloud APIS to connect our servers to our applications in a much more smooth and organized manner. We were able to use what we learned about the new Firebase cloud APIS effectively.
What we learned
Some things we learned were how to use a geocoder API in a web and mobile application. Other things we learned about was the ecommerce behind farming and the struggles farmers had to go through while farming.
What's next for Farmerce
The next step for cultivating Farmerce would be to have an interaction between farmer and farmer. We would like the farmers to be able to gain advice from other farmers. We would like to add features which help farmers advise each other to grow better crops.