A good example of a project where collaboration between grassroot level stakeholders and research institute has been fruitful is Digipaali (Digital bale) project in Finland. The project works regionally in Häme but has national, and even international goals. In Digital bale project, researchers and farmers work together to solve and to develop digital applications for feed bales. The goal of the project is to develop a digital tracking and storing system for feed bales.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was chosen to identify each bale. This project is a typical, new application of digitalization. The technology itself has been developed already years ago and is in use in many areas, contactless payment being the most common. Sensors of baling machine and the reader of RFID tag (in each bale) sends bale information to the Digital bale processor that combines the data and sends it to the server (cloud). For the farmer, the most important data of each bale are bale weight, dry matter and GPS coordinates i.e. map view where bales can be seen. Digital bale helps farmer in bookkeeping of the balecrop, in feed formulation, makes bale trade easy and helps in planning farming in general.
The project is funded by Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 under the EIP-Agri framework. The project is managed by HAMK Bio Research Unit of Häme University of Applied Sciences, but as typical for EIP-Agri project, the project leans on innovation group, having dairy farmers and baling contractors important members. Collaboration in innovation group has been very fruitful and the project has caught good amount of media coverage, articles in newspapers and professional publications, television, radio and internet due to farmers involvement and commitment.
More info of the project is available at: