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Nov. 16, 2022

Technologies on intelligent seeds and seedlings production discussed in TSIPS-FFTC-APAARI joint symposium

Technologies on intelligent seeds and seedlings production discussed in TSIPS-FFTC-APAARI joint symposium

 

Grafting robots, unmanned aircraft drone, seed image recognition classifier—these are just some of the technologies showcased and discussed in the recently concluded joint symposium on “Establishment of and Intelligent Production System for Seeds and Seedlings.”

A joint undertaking of FFTC and the Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station or TSIPS of the Council of Agriculture, together with the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and Informa Markets, the said symposium aimed to explore the possibility of introducing and sharing more technologies in farm production and create a dialogue between producers and technology developers in helping solve the manpower problem. Nine experts on seeds and seedlings from India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam gathered in this hybrid symposium which was held onsite at the Nangang Exhibition Center in Taipei, Taiwan and online via Webex video conference system, which was also simultaneously livestreamed at the FFTC Facebook page to share knowledge, technologies and experiences. There were 185 participants from 21 countries who registered for this hybrid symposium.

In her welcome remarks, FFTC Director Dr. Su-San Chang said that, the Asia Pacific Seed Association or APSA, reported that the trade volume of sowing seeds in the Asian and Pacific region had exceeded US$41 billion in 2018. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the seed production supply chain, which relies heavily on manpower, was heavily affected. Recently, however, new and intelligent technologies like the plant phenotype analysis robot, intelligent soil moisture monitoring, intelligent automatic seed collection and grading, etc. have been developed to help ease the workload of farmers.

The workshop showcased different seed technologies which are being used to make seed production more fast and efficient. Some of these technologies include Taiwan’s intelligent vegetable and seedling production and sales management system, which replace the paper method used by seedling operators. There is also the remote system control facility, leafy vegetable production machine and the smart production and application model of a plant tissue culture. Another Taiwanese technology presented was the seed image recognition which basically is a seed classifier that combines deep learning and biological hierarchical classification architecture for seed identification of large number categories.

Grafting technology plays an important role in countries like the Philippines where it is used in the off-season production of fruits and vegetables. In Japan, a new automated grafting machine has been developed using low cost plastic tape as a joint material, as well as a grafting robot.

Thailand has developed the artificial intelligence and cold plasma technologies for intelligent rice seed production. In Korea, a private seed company has developed new breeding technologies like the CRISPR that improves breeding with 10% high competitiveness and 25% high efficiency compared to conventional breeding. Vietnam has the rice husk-based seedling production system for mechanical transplanting, seed classification processing, unmanned aircraft drone and a smart pest monitoring system.

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