Dimitra AMA: The AMA Room & Dimitra CEO, Jon Trask

Q: Please introduce yourself, your background and an interesting story of how you got into crypto 🙂

A: My name is Jon Trask, I founded Dimitra about18 months ago after developing dozens of blockchain and mobile applications for supply chain and identity. My background has been developing and deploying Supply Chain related applications in large enterprises. I’ve also ran several large supply chain companies in consumer goods, automotive, food, etc.

My journey to crypto was circular as most things in life are. Early in my career I was quite involved in cryptography as a developer. This led me into supply chain work where I worked for many years trying automate and streamline delivery of goods and services in many industries. About 4 or 5-years ago, while consulting, a client asked me about applying blockchain to a supply chain problem and after some research we found that blockchain is a great tool for traceability and provenance. That first project became the foundation for what Dimitra is today.

Q: Awesome! Can you now share what Dimitra is all about and its features?

A: Our mission at Dimitra is to make advanced agricultural technologies available to small and medium-size farmers. Dimitra’s blockchain-based, “Connected Farmer” platform is available to farmers across the world. The platform integrates a series of advanced technologies (like satellite, AI, blockchain and IoT) that provides farmers with actionable data that fundamentally improves their operations.

Providing insight about soil and crops from satellite images and sensors can really provide advantages to a farmer in improving their output. We focus on smaller farms as they are underserved in the world market but make an incredible contribution. 570 million small farms produce almost 70% of the worlds food.

Our key features walk farms through soil preparation, pest management, irrigation, harvest and supply chain, logistics and export. We also work on livestock traceability and care.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5X5IKZ8GMY&t=3s

Q: Very interesting and very cool. I think this is the first time I am hearing of this concept. Which blockchain is Dimitra using?

A: Our token is on Ethereum, we also use Hyperledger Fabric and are now designing our Farmer Points program and are testing some great blockchains to deliver this critical service to the farmers. We will announce that later this year. Our identity functionality was designed and built on Quorum which worked well with mobile applications

Q: Awesome! When is mainnet?

A: We are live and running now. Our original application has been out more than a year now on Quorum, the first big crypto integration is our farmer points program which will be live in Q1 2022.That will start bringing farmer wallets to the platform through a roll-up function.

Q: Got that. How is $DMTR playing a role in the platform?

A: It all starts with $DMTR, if you read our whitepaper https://dimitra.io/token and our Why Dimitra article https://dimitratech.medium.com/why-dimitra-54bf7a662956 There is a lot of detail but at a high level it starts with the $DMTR investor. Each token is a catalyst for our farmer points program, our ecosystem programs and our innovation programs.

Our farmer points program incentivizes the farmer to enter data in the platform. This data is converted by machine learning to provide insight into how the farmer can improve their farming operations. In some cases this requires sensors and satellite which is paid for through service providers in $DMTR. This begins the cycle of activities all riding on $DMTR

Q: Amazing how technology and blockchain is being applied! 👏

A: Our platform allows for other software companies to integrate their tech into Dimitra, this provides more functionality to the farmer than we can provide ourselves. We’ve already integrated a few technologies into Dimitra. For example we have a great partnership with Morpheus Network who has a great supply chain middle ware.

Q: Can you share a little bit about the team?

A: Our team is global, we have people now in over 60 countries, Africa, Middle East, Asia, South America, North America and now Europe. On the dev side we are about 45–50, we work remotely so we find talent everywhere. On the operations and sales side about 70. We’ve put together a great team, everyone is so driven by our goals. We’ve got great leaders — Peter on Tech, Mike on Digital Currency, Ramina on design, Roxy on Marketing and so many more. You can see some of the great people we have on our website here: https://dimitra.io/our-team

Q: Let’s now proceed to the community questions. are you ready?

A: Can’t wait.

Q: Platform has its Own Academy called “DIMITRA ACADEMY”,
Who should join this academy & what will he/she get to know in this academy?

A: Dimitra Academy is designed so that we can work with Universities and Governments to expand our mission. We ran our first cohort back in the spring and had 57 participate. We covered how blockchain, AI, satellite and other technologies are impacting Agriculture. This helps us build teams and local, in country expertise to deliver on our mission.

Q: Given that Dimitra’s global vision is to empower Communal farmers, how you plan to reach out to farmers who are illiterate and in remotest parts in various countries? In what practical ways should the communal farmers expect to benefit from your initiative ?

A: We work with non-for-profits, NGO’s and governments. Some of those partners are working with developing understanding among the illiterate. We are also working on text to voice and other features to help make the system user friendly to a wider group. This is an important question that we will continue to address in our development process.

Q: At first I love your project it’s important for better future. Thank you
And congratulation for this wonderful project. Do you thought about working together with company’s like Unilever or you already do ? They have a lot of farmers and they produce food products all over the world.

A: We are in discussions with large food companies and think they play a key role in our success. Today we have a few projects which are more government, NGO and not-for profit oriented.

Q: Agricultural innovation cannot be conducted remotely in the absence of cutting edge research. Most efforts aimed at improving food production has been carried out with researchers. Are you working with any notable researcher or institution ?

A: We have many PhD’s in our organization who are associated with their own Universities. We also work with researchers in our customer organizations. Our Indian Soil project has many researchers both within our client organization in India as well as at Dimitra. This project may be one of the world’s largest soil study projects working on improving soil conditions and biodiversity. Increasing soil organic content.

All of this requires many bright minds.

Q: What are your plans in relation to more miscellaneous but attractive applications for users and farmers such as lottery, other types of pools, prediction markets, NFTs?

A: We are working on an idea around crop financing, essentially micro loans which can be paid after harvest. This is in our roadmap but could apply an NFT as one solution, this NFT ties the loan to the crop which is monitored with satellite. Following our design phase we will have a more definitive approach but it will be exciting.

Q: What problems did you face when trying to implement your product in working businesses ? Is it hard to explain to usual non-crypto people what is project and what are the advantages of using it ?

A: Certainly crypto can be confusing to some people. We focus on the benefits and functionality, every farmer or ministry of agriculture understands more yield. Then we walk through the process. Crypto is a process enabler. They get funding, loans, decentralization for the most part. Some want to dive into the tech but most want to know the functionality.

Q: Do you have AUDIT certificates, or are you working to AUDIT your project, to make it more secure and reliable?

A: Our project has been audited by Certik. They were great to work with. https://www.certik.org/projects/dimitra

Q: In this COVID-19 era, with Dimitra as a leading Agricultural Technology company, how does your technology& innovations have solutions for the world now &after the pandemic? How relevant & sustainable are your technologies in the new world after the pandemic?

A: COVID has transformed the way that the world works and functionality in Dimitra helps reduce contact in a few ways:

1. we have functionality which allows farmers to apply for loans, insurance and government services within the application. This is appealing to all organizations in reducing contact during the application process.
2. We have loan monitoring tools so that banks can monitor crop performance with Satellite and not need to go to the farm to assess loan risk, this also helps farmers with reporting requirements

Q: Southeast Asia is a very vibrant market and many project developed here so with your project. What do you think about Southeast Asia and do you have any plan to develop here ??

A: We have a Sales Director who takes care of SE Asia. We are talking with potential projects in Vietnam, Korea and other countries now. Hopefully we land a SE Asia project soon.

Q: Many farmers are unprepared for the Disaster like long dry spells and floods and also unaware about the planting time and harvesting time ? Is DIMITRA has integrated any technology which help the farmers ?

A: We have a planting and harvest optimization tool that we are implementing to help with some of these issues. Trying to determine is the farmer planting the right crop? When should they plant? When should they harvest?

These are critical questions for farmers. Weather prediction is difficult but we can add knowledge to the decision making that a farmer has to do.

Thank you everyone for the great questions, and thank you to The AMA Room for having me. I enjoyed sharing with your community.

Our mission is to partner with developing nations to make agricultural technologies more accessible to farmers. https://dimitra.io