We were interested to learn that the Pudong Agriculture Association in China is using QR codes in agriculture to promote awareness about food safety. The project will begin its the pilot stage in May and will be used on a certain kind of watermelon that is locally grown. According to the Pudong Agriculture Association, when consumers scan the QR codes on the melons, they will be directed to a website that where they will see the fruit’s planting date, fertilizer use, harvest date as well as contact information for the Association.
The purpose of this project is to improve food safety and to open a direct communication channel between the consumers and the Pudong Agriculture Association. Consumers will thus be able to directly contact the Association with any feedback or comments, so that future crops can be improved.
This is a great example of a practical use for QR codes – one that benefits producers and consumers alike. In fact, this is not the first instance of the use of QR codes in agriculture. In 2011, T-Mobile had teamed up with the National Farmers Union and EBLEX (organization for the English beef and sheep industry) in England to use QR codes on livestock and scarecrows. In the case of the latter, a new mobile app was used to remotely control them. The app would work by scanning a QR code assigned to a particular scarecrow. It would then grant access to the user (the farmer), who could use it to move the scarecrow as well as access night-vision cameras located in the scarecrow’s eyes.
In the case of livestock, the QR codes allowed users to access details about the animals’ vaccinations, medical and treatment history. This enabled both farmers and inspectors to stay up to date with the livestock’s health.
Image used for representational purposes only