Malaysia embraces “smart agriculture” in productivity push for the industry

Farming with tablets and drones is a new reality for Malaysia’s agriculture sector

Malaysia is becoming one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to facilitate modern digital technology and mobile broadband networks to reform one of its core sectors: agriculture.

Agriculture is vital to Malaysia’s economy, contributing up to 12 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product. But the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the sector reporting income losses and difficulties with distribution and logistics due to the lockdowns in the country.

These factors have been an accelerator for the introduction of a variety of agritech solutions, or smart agriculture or precision farming, by using high-speed data transfer through 5G networks and Internet of Things (IoT) cluster technologies.

This comes with the help of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), which is looking to expand the capabilities of Malaysia’s agriculture sector and modernize its processes along Industry 4.0 guidelines to be fast, agile and sustainable.

Smart farming with sensors and big data

“Smart farming allows us to quantify the variables that exist on land or farming operations, such as soil fertility, weather patterns, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed,” says Ahmad Safuan Bujang, deputy director of the smart and precision farming programme under MARDI’s engineering research center.

“With sensors in place, farmers are able to digitally acquire all of this information and put it into a system to monitor and study. This is the lowest level of tech adoption and as you go up the tech ladder, you will be able to have a system that facilitates what you do on the field,” he added.

Through those sensors, bundled and processed in an IoT system, real-time data can be provided that can reduce the risk of crop failure, increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer usage and water consumption, therefore decreasing production costs and increasing profitability and sustainable practices.

Reducing costs, increasing productivity

Ahmad believes that sensors and actuators will be ubiquitous features in modern farms in Malaysia, and these smart solutions can leverage cellular network-based applications for smart agriculture that are cost effective and reliable.

Among the IoT-based agritech solutions are, among others:

  • Vegetables collection by Malaysian manufactured drones
  • Algorithms that help sort vegetables by quality and weight
  • Driverless agricultural vehicles such as tractors and harvesters
  • Automatic controls of warehouses for temperature and humidity
  • Measurement of moisture and nutrient content of the soil by satellites and robotic drones, providing real-time images and data
  • Monitoring plant growth to sustainably apply agricultural ingredients like fertilizers and pesticides
  • Monitoring of cattle through smart devices to promote maximum production
  • Automate the control of power efficiency in larger farms
  • Analysing and quantifying the variables crucial for farming operations, such as soil fertility, weather patterns, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed, and making comparisons with historical data

With this agritech revolution, Malaysia is focusing on a full shift from extensive low-productivity farming of the past to an environmentally and socially sustainable intensive farming system supported by latest technology and innovations which is expected to deliver significant gains in productivity, MARDI says.

These technologies are also a solution for to tackle problems including water scarcity, population growth, changing weather and the increase in consumption, as well as food insecurity and poverty or the rural population, the institute adds.



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Farming with tablets and drones is a new reality for Malaysia's agriculture sector Malaysia is becoming one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to facilitate modern digital technology and mobile broadband networks to reform one of its core sectors: agriculture. Agriculture is vital to Malaysia’s economy, contributing up to 12 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product. But the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the sector reporting income losses and difficulties with distribution and logistics due to the lockdowns in the country. These factors have been an accelerator for the introduction of a variety of agritech...

Farming with tablets and drones is a new reality for Malaysia’s agriculture sector

Malaysia is becoming one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to facilitate modern digital technology and mobile broadband networks to reform one of its core sectors: agriculture.

Agriculture is vital to Malaysia’s economy, contributing up to 12 per cent to the nation’s gross domestic product. But the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the sector reporting income losses and difficulties with distribution and logistics due to the lockdowns in the country.

These factors have been an accelerator for the introduction of a variety of agritech solutions, or smart agriculture or precision farming, by using high-speed data transfer through 5G networks and Internet of Things (IoT) cluster technologies.

This comes with the help of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), which is looking to expand the capabilities of Malaysia’s agriculture sector and modernize its processes along Industry 4.0 guidelines to be fast, agile and sustainable.

Smart farming with sensors and big data

“Smart farming allows us to quantify the variables that exist on land or farming operations, such as soil fertility, weather patterns, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed,” says Ahmad Safuan Bujang, deputy director of the smart and precision farming programme under MARDI’s engineering research center.

“With sensors in place, farmers are able to digitally acquire all of this information and put it into a system to monitor and study. This is the lowest level of tech adoption and as you go up the tech ladder, you will be able to have a system that facilitates what you do on the field,” he added.

Through those sensors, bundled and processed in an IoT system, real-time data can be provided that can reduce the risk of crop failure, increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer usage and water consumption, therefore decreasing production costs and increasing profitability and sustainable practices.

Reducing costs, increasing productivity

Ahmad believes that sensors and actuators will be ubiquitous features in modern farms in Malaysia, and these smart solutions can leverage cellular network-based applications for smart agriculture that are cost effective and reliable.

Among the IoT-based agritech solutions are, among others:

  • Vegetables collection by Malaysian manufactured drones
  • Algorithms that help sort vegetables by quality and weight
  • Driverless agricultural vehicles such as tractors and harvesters
  • Automatic controls of warehouses for temperature and humidity
  • Measurement of moisture and nutrient content of the soil by satellites and robotic drones, providing real-time images and data
  • Monitoring plant growth to sustainably apply agricultural ingredients like fertilizers and pesticides
  • Monitoring of cattle through smart devices to promote maximum production
  • Automate the control of power efficiency in larger farms
  • Analysing and quantifying the variables crucial for farming operations, such as soil fertility, weather patterns, temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed, and making comparisons with historical data

With this agritech revolution, Malaysia is focusing on a full shift from extensive low-productivity farming of the past to an environmentally and socially sustainable intensive farming system supported by latest technology and innovations which is expected to deliver significant gains in productivity, MARDI says.

These technologies are also a solution for to tackle problems including water scarcity, population growth, changing weather and the increase in consumption, as well as food insecurity and poverty or the rural population, the institute adds.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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