Agricultural experts from eight countries all agree that there is a need for country leaders to invest on programs on awareness and promotions of ICTs for precision agriculture for rice farming. In the recently concluded FFTC-MARDI international workshop on “ICTs for Precision Agriculture,” experts from Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe said that in order to cope with the demands of agriculture, the development of training programs and a system for data exchange have to be pushed, saying that if we all aim to increase crop productivity, optimize resources, and reduce production costs, farmers need to be trained and educated on the basics of Information Communication Technologies or ICTs.
Precision agriculture, a farm management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter or intra-field variability in crops have been so much a part of rice faming in different parts of the world. In the recently concluded international workshop held at the MARDI headquarters on August 5-9, 2019 in Selangor, Malaysia, scientists discussed how precision agriculture has been used to adapt fertilizer distribution to varying soil conditions. The use of ICTs like the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), laser guided land leveling, use of robots for rice seeding and other digital gadgets have helped to monitor and optimize agricultural production processes.
FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin and MARDI’s Director General Datuk Dr. Mohammad Roff Mohd Noor, in their welcome remarks, also emphasize the need to update the current status of various technological components in the implementation of precision agriculture in Asia.
During the workshop proper, the speakers and local participants were divided into groups and after an hour of deliberation came up with this summary of recommendations:
1. Invest on programs on awareness and promotions of ICTs for precision agriculture in rice farming;
2. Establish mobile training Centers to train farmers and share their success stories;
3. Create a formal framework for ICTs in agriculture to provide free-flow of information to help in decision making;
4. Develop training modules for introduction and operation of major ICTs;
5. Develop a system to establish data exchange;
6. Link and involve the private sector for they are potential customers of ICTs for precision agriculture;
7. Form guidelines, standard data protocols, and countrywide data protocols for the use of ICTs in agriculture; and
8. Establish virtual communities like chat groups for farmer leaders to create a channel for information exchange.
FFTC Director Dr. Kuo-Ching Lin (2nd from left) and MARDI’s Director General Datuk Dr. Mohammad Roff Mohd Noor (3rd from right), in their welcome remarks, also emphasize the need to update the current status of various technological components in the implementation of precision agriculture in Asia.
The FFTC-MARDI international workshop on “ICTs for Precision Agriculture” which is held on Ausgust 6-8 at the MARDI Headquarters in Selangor Malaysia had 16 speakers from eight countries (Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Zimbabwe) and 25 local participants.