The FFTC-MARDI international workshop on “ICTs for Precision Agriculture” which was held on August 6-8 at the MARDI Headquarters in Selangor, Malaysia had 16 speakers from eight countries and 25 local participants.
Venue: Selangor, Malaysia
Date: August 5-9
Participating countries: 8 countries (Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Malaysia)
Participants: 12 speakers and 25 local participants
Papers presented: 12
Co-organizer: Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI)
Precision Agriculture (PA) technology is one of the technology packages that has witnessed unprecedented growth in the last decade with its aim is to increase crop production, increase the efficiency of land use, reduce the production costs and maintain the quality of the environment while improving the sustainability of the food supply. PA technology provides the possibility to do the right thing, in the right place, at the right time and in the right manner along the food production chain and manage both the quantity and quality of agricultural produce. For example, precision agriculture was used to adapt fertilizer distribution to varying soil conditions across an agricultural field.
Additional practices have evolved, such as automatic guidance of agricultural vehicles and implements, autonomous machinery and processes, product traceability, on-farm research, and software for the overall management of agricultural production systems. PA could play an important role in accelerating adoption of ICTs. ICTs have been widely used in Rice Precision Farming which involve soil nutrient mapping, land levelling system, variable rate technology for seeding and fertilizer application, early warning system for pest and disease, drones spraying and yield monitoring. Other related fields which ICTs can help better decision making are in smart control and monitoring system for plant factory, artificial intelligence and agro-robotics and big data for smart agriculture.
The workshop, which was held at the MARDI headquarters in Malaysia was attended by 12 speakers from eight countries and 25 local participants, aims to gather international expertise in the area of precision agriculture and to update the current status of various technological components and technology adoption in ICTs for precision agriculture. The workshop/discussion part was divided into three sessions. Session 1 was entitled “Understanding Precision Agriculture.” Session 2 focused on “Technology Packages for Precision Agriculture” and Session 3: Precision Agriculture in Asia.”
Major findings and 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.
8. Establish virtual communities like chat groups for farmer leaders to create a channel for information exchange.
List of papers
• Precision agriculture in food production: nutrient management - Pauline Chivenge
• Overview of precision agriculture with focus on rice farming - Chia-Yu Lin, et al.
• Drone applications for precision agriculture and paddy field management - Nobosuke Iwasaki
• Development of web-based decision support system for paddy planting management in Tanjung Karang, Malaysia - C.Y. N Norasma and A.R.M Shariff
• Soil nutrient estimation and sampling for precision farming of paddy in Malaysia - Siti Noor Aliah Baharom, et al.
• Rice precision farming in Korea - Sang-Cheol Kim, et al.
• Realization of society 5.0 by utilizing precision agriculture into smart agriculture in NARO, Japan - Yuji Nagasaki, et al.
• Precision agriculture in Taiwan - Charng-Pei Li, et al.
• Precision agriculture for rice production in the Philippines - Jasper G. Tallada
• Precision agriculture in Malaysia - Ahmad S. Bujang & Badril H. Abu Bakar
• A review of precision agriculture in rice production in Vietnam - Ngo Duc Minh, et al.
• Precision agriculture for rice production in Thailand - Tanee Sreewongchai & Sutkhet Nakasathien
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 emphasize the need to update the current status of various technological components in the implementation of precision agriculture in Asia.
In the workshop, the speakers and local participants are divided into groups and after an hour of deliberation, come up with concrete recommendations.
Workshop and speaker participants visit a chili farm in Selangor, Malaysia. The farm uses state-of-the art ICTs like automatic sprinkler system, in which participants had an engaging discussion with the farm owners.
Filipino speaker Dr. Jasper Tallada, from the Philippine Rice Research Institute, said the ICT workshop made him realize that there really is a need for strategic directions in modernizing faming given the challenges imposed upon us by high population, shrinking crop lands, climate change and increasing resource costs.