When we talk about agriculture, most people would imagine hard labour and exhausting manual work under the hot scorching sun. In 2022 when flying cars are already common, surely this perception should change, no?
Well, maybe flying cars are still a far-fetched (and maybe a little-too-complicated) dream to the currently available self-driving electric cars.
Other industries have been eliminating repetitive tasks from human workforce and delegating them to the more than capable hands of machines and Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, technological advancements and applications in agriculture are still a plausible cause for concern.
For agriculture, we are not trying to get flying tractors or harvesters (there’s nothing to harvest in the skies anyway!). We are just talking about smart agriculture and its significant components in the form of precision farming, cloud-computing, and application of Internet of Things (IOTs), especially in the Malaysian agriculture landscape.
Why Smart Agriculture?
Smart agriculture facilitates industry players to make the most out of technologies available and integrates them with their daily tasks.
Previously, the government, through Budget 2022, outlined an urge to transform the agriculture industry into a more modern and dynamic sector. The government has also allocated a handsome amount of RM4.82 billion for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, as well as an RM60 million financing for agropreneurs, to procure IR4.0 technology and equipment; all-in-all to take agriculture to the next step.
So, what’s stopping us?
Recurring Issues in Agriculture
Agriculture is one of the top industries in Malaysia. The palm oil industry itself makes up a large part of agriculture in Malaysia, listed as the 4th biggest contributor to the Malaysian economy. It is only fair that the government starts paying more attention amidst rising issues of labour shortage, food security, and price hikes within the palm oil community.
While these issues were among the biggest factors impacting yield performance and agriculture productivity in these past two years, the prevailing norms of agriculture made it worse.
The industry is slow to embrace smart agriculture and take full advantage of available technologies. As a result, we are stuck with outdated norms of doing daily operations and tasks, which should now be rendered obsolete and counter-productive.
The ever-changing circumstances and standard operating procedures (SOPs) around the pandemic era also severely impacted agriculture productivity. In the oil palm industry, analysts forecasted another drop in performance in 2022, largely due to the ongoing labour shortage and fertiliser price increase.
Plus, with new COVID variants emerging and weather issues occurring lately, surely smart agriculture could present a better approach to agriculture and avoid these issues from happening again.
New Norms in Agriculture
Rather than further delaying the integration of technology in agriculture, the industry should prioritise smart agriculture in 2022.
Here’s how smart agriculture can make way for new norms in agriculture:
- Automating data transmission and data transfer using a capable management system. Eliminates time-consuming paper-based data transmission and heavy dependency on administration workforce.
- Capturing data seamlessly with Internet of Things planted/operated on the field. Boosts efficiency with quick data capture and overcomes the physical limitations of humans.
- Utilising sensors and trackers to monitor the current happenings around plantations. Provides instant data for managers/owners to study.
- Planning and strategising with actual and historical data. Prevents unforeseen circumstances and boosts productivity with precision farming.
- Storing data in clouds that are made accessible everywhere, anytime. Data banks would present easy access for workers to navigate between relevant data.
- Using mobile apps/mobile devices to access data banks on-the-go during field work.
- Generating new insights, discovering new trends, and managing data blind spots with data analytics.
Quarto – A World of Possibilities
Quarto presents a world of possibilities for industry players to embrace technology. Plus, it also acts as a catalyst for them to finally indulge in the exciting field of smart agriculture. By enabling the technologies needed for smart agriculture, Quarto will drive smarter decision making based on relevant and insightful data.
Exploring this realm of new norms presents a futuristic approach to agriculture especially with the global introduction of 5G network. If used to its utmost capabilities, smart agriculture could be the answer for recurring questions around agriculture, while empowering industry players with sustainability, visibility, and traceability.
Join us in the world of possibilities with Quarto. Click here to learn more on how Quarto can help your smart agriculture approach.