A bunch of new technologies have been introduced in order to better analyze a field’s soil acidity, nutrient level, historical yield and climate variations. These range from aerial drones carrying multispectral sensors to Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can monitor individual crops.
These days, farmers have access to a vast amount of information to help them make better-informed decisions. In agriculture, big data can empower operational capabilities.
In order to optimize data, software and algorithms can be used to increase yields, boost farm productivity and increase farm sustainability. The growth of digital shelves and smart warehouses means retailers can respond more effectively to demand changes. New intelligent transport systems, such as driverless vehicles and drones, offer far more flexible, reactive possibilities to distribute food from farm to fork. The application of agricultural technology combined with DroneTech in Malaysia’s agriculture sector can be seen in oil palm plantations and paddy fields.
Accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies in traditional industries such as agriculture is aligned with Malaysia’s Sustainable Development Goals in order to improve the income status as well as the well-being of target groups such as farmers, livestock breeders, fishermen and agro-based entrepreneurs. However, adequate training in the use of drones should be made a central part of this push towards sustainability.
Sustainable farming is gaining ground
Problems with the climate and the depletion of resources are already limiting the amount of food produced by the world’s farmlands. This development has begun to motivate regulators, customers, food firms and farmers to compel agricultural companies to implement sustainable methods and processes.
Despite the lingering complacency of the businesses, these stakeholders are driving a transition that only a few years ago seemed unlikely. As a direct result of the movement against environmental degradation, sustainable farming is gaining much-needed traction.
Malaysia takes a green step forward
Agricultural drones are transforming traditional farming practices in Malaysia. UAVs are revolutionizing farming and it looks like this may be the new future of agricultural produce. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) help to grow crops and track crop growth. This can provide farmers with a better picture of their fields by letting them see their fields from above.
Felcra Berhad took an ambitious decision last year with a collaborative effort towards incorporating drone tech into agriculture, by signing a memorandum of understanding with local Malaysia drone and robotics specialist.
This deal between the state-owned Felcra and the specialist drone company can help the government boost the agricultural sector. More farmers from rural and secluded areas can become farm-preneurs via the incorporation of these technological advancements. Furthermore, Malaysia can be made more ready for Industry 4.0.
Aligning Sustainable Development Goals
The application of agricultural technology combined with DroneTech in Malaysia’s agricultural sector can already be seen in oil palm plantations and padi fields.
They help tech-driven planters and farmers track and boost crop productivity, and can assist with creating a more sustainable and viable source of income. Drones are capable of contributing to the growth of crop yields, making dangerous jobs secure and serving as lifelines for remote communities.
Accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies in traditional sectors, such as the agricultural sector, can contribute towards helping to ensure that target groups like farmers, fishermen, livestock breeders and agro-based entrepreneurs are looked after.
The future looks bright
The future of agricultural drone applications in Malaysia could entail state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for better efficiency, as can be seen in agricultural efforts overseas.
A new partnership has taken place between Microsoft and leading drone manufacturer DJI. This is a collaboration for building on a data-driven solution for agricultural issues. Data on agricultural markers could make it easier and more accessible for farmers to quickly get the information they need to make crucial decisions about soil moisture and temperature, pesticides and fertilizers.
New machine learning algorithms process and evaluate the data, and run on the Azure Internet of Things (IoT) Edge, which provides local cloud intelligence. Essentially, the number of hours and days spent walking or driving the fields to try to detect problems can be greatly reduced.
Palm oil dispute with India
Although crude palm oil can still be imported freely, imports of refined palm oil are being restricted and a great portion of these come from Malaysia. Now it will require a license from the Indian government.
Any progress made regarding sustainable palm oil could be undone with the palm oil dispute between India and Malaysia. Dragging it on brings huge risk to forests in Indonesia and elsewhere, experts say.
Certification is a hard process, which could mean that companies and farmers are less motivated to look into certification. For the palm oil sector, the biggest challenge is likely to be maintaining the push towards sustainability.
Taking on a data-driven approach
Some of the mainstays of Malaysia’s developmental agendas are self-sufficiency level, food security and the supervision and upkeep of the environment.
This can be accomplished by means of technology such as cloud computing, internet of things and cognitive computing.
Agricultural is a very important part of Malaysia’s agenda for socio-economic development, which can help with economic equality, sustainability, food security and safety and alleviates poverty.
Through the development of food systems that are nutritious, healthy, efficient and inclusive, Malaysia could prosper in many areas.
On 18 February 2020 at Iskandar Puteri, Johor Bahru, team members from Asia Drone & IoT Technologies had a discussion with DHL and Medini Iskandar on building a sustainable ecosystem in the drone economy for Malaysia’s southern region and potentially the Asia Pacific region.
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