Smart Farms Get Blockchain Boost in South Korea

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  • Smart farms in South Korea will start to use blockchain technology in tracing produce
  • Smart farms utilize ‘dead’ spaces in urban areas and turn them into food producing plants
  • So-called ‘urban farming’ could usher in a farming revolution, in which blockchain could play a key part

Smart farms in South Korea will be augmented by blockchain technology in order to offer traceability of the products grown there, according to a South Korean news outlet. Pax Net News reports that products created via smart farms, which were thought up and developed by tech giant LG, will use blockchain technology to trace the fruit and vegetables once they have moved from the production to the distribution phase, in another example of blockchain’s suitability to supply chain.

Smart Farms Encourage Urban Farming

The concept of smart farms was announced by LG in 2019 and demonstrated at CES 2020 as a way to utilize unused spaces within cities for food growth in a movement called “urban farming”. Ranging in size from a fridge to an entire shop floor, indoor smart farms maintain constant growth conditions for 24 hours, 365 days of the year through the control of artificial lighting, temperature/humidity, CO2 and culture medium within an enclosed space, and can overcome environmental pollution, seasonal changes, and physical restrictions.

The pilot project in South Korea, created by LG in conjunction with plant factory company Palm8, has set up demonstration smart farms across subway stations in Seoul, illustrating the incredible diversity offered by the technology. The companies are already working on integrating smart phone remote crop cultivation to the smart farms using monitoring sensors connected with wireless communication, CCTV, big data, and AI technologies.

Blockchain Enters the Fray

Yesterday it was revealed that blockchain technology will also play a role in smart farm development, with LG’s in-house blockchain Monachain operating as the backbone of a food safety history management system that utilizes blockchain technology to provide traceability in all stages from production to delivery. Such systems have already been devised and tested by companies such as VeChain, IBM FoodTrust, and even MasterCard, so what LG is doing with blockchain technology isn’t exactly new.

The concept of smart farms however, if rolled out on a large scale, could revolutionize ‘dead’ spaces within cities and could lead to blockchain technology playing a key part in a farming revolution in the country.