Getting paid for the data generated on pig farms

More and more livestock and poultry barns now have automated environmental control systems. Precision feeders, each having an ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) sensor connected to the internet, are also becoming more common, and number of robotic dairies is also growing. A huge amount of precision agriculture data, from seed planting rate to fertiliser rate to crop yield, is being gathered from more and more farm equipment worldwide.

Besides all this internet-connected data generation, pig, poultry and dairy farmers also have a large amount of data that is not currently shared and could be shared – and monetised. This includes which livestock genetics, barn cleaners, feed and probiotics are used on farms, as well as rate of animal weight gain, information about disease, pests and much more.

Mr Sotomayor is the co-founder of mPowered, a blockchain software platform launched recently in Guelph, ON, Canada. The system literally empowers farmers to easily control who has access to their data and get paid for sharing it, if they choose to do so. The blockchain aspect of the platform ensures data sharing is cryptographically secure and transparent.

The platform will also be available to everyday people who have access to any internet-based technology that generates personal data that companies and governments might want, including data from web searches and GPS data from smart phones and cars.

Farmer participants will each have an mPowered ‘data vault’ to which they can add and store data. They will be approached by companies who want some or all of their data sets. The farmer can see what similar data sets have recently sold for (similarly to vehicle or real estate websites) and they can chose to sell at the price offered or negotiate. There is no cost to farmers to use the system; the companies that buy the data pay mPowered a percentage of the sale.

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