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  • It's harvest time in Chihshang in eastern Taiwan.

  • Cut off by high mountains from the industrialised west of the island,

  • this valley is known as Taiwan's back garden.

  • Local farmers work small plots of land, often by hand.

  • But hidden from view, change is underway.

  • ''Alting'', a startup from Taipei,

  • is trying to give local rice farmers a boost

  • by linking their harvest to the web,

  • using the internet of things, and

  • recording all the information with blockchain technology.

  • These sensors measure weather patterns and chemical changes in the soil,

  • and can also allow consumers to watch in real time

  • how their rice is grown.

  • ''Alting'' placed a set of sensors in

  • one of Wei Jui-ting's fields in July.

  • Mr Wei is shifting his father's rice fields to organic farming.

  • He hopes full transparency will give him an advantage.

  • Blockchain is distributed digital ledger that records

  • and stores all the information.

  • It is both open and secure.

  • And linking Jui-ting's fields to the internet

  • could achieve much more.

  • When farmers bring their rice to the local mill,

  • the grain is hulled, dried, and

  • tested for moisture, protein content, and potential pesticide residues.

  • The increasingly unpredictable climate

  • has a big impact on these elements.

  • Chen Cheng-hung, who runs the mill,

  • believes that the data collected from farmer's fields will help.

  • Mr Chen says that tiny sensors will change the way farmers work.

  • Once that is achieved, the project's backers believe

  • wild swings in agricultural commodity prices,

  • created by natural disasters, will be consigned to history.

  • A stable price, despite an unstable climate.

  • A benefit to consumers and farmers alike.

It's harvest time in Chihshang in eastern Taiwan.

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B1 UK FinancialTimes rice blockchain taiwan wei ting

Blockchain helps Taiwan's rice farmers mitigate effects of climate change

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    Liang Chen posted on 2018/12/11
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