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Selangor farm using IoT and AI to enhance yields

At first glance, the 0.8-hectare site in Kampung Sijangkang in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor, where red chillies grow from black polybags, looks like an ordinary vegetable farm. However, this is far from a conventional farm; it is, in reality, a “digital laboratory farm” where digital agriculture or precision farming practices are used to increase crop yields and profitability, as well as reduce fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide inputs.

The Managing Director of the company that operates the farm, is making use of an Internet of Things (IoT) smart farming application and system developed by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

The Managing Director, who has been involved in agriculture for 14 years, admitted that it was not easy for him to switch from conventional to digital farming applications but now he is convinced of its benefits. His “digital laboratory farm”, where some 6,000 red chilli plants are being cultivated using the fertigation technique, has now entered its third year of operation and the smart farming application has helped him to save time and manpower costs, as well as improve harvests.

He noted that anyone, even those in rural areas, can practice smart farming as long as they have a smartphone and Internet access. All they need to do is insert a SIM card in the sensor hub panel and monitor the cultivation process via their smartphone, he added.

IoT-based smart farming, also known as precision farming, helps farmers to optimise water, fertiliser and pesticide inputs and improve crop yield, quality and productivity by monitoring various factors such as humidity, temperature, soil conditions and fertiliser and pesticide levels on their farms or agricultural fields in real-time with the help of sensors and interconnectivity.

The Managing Director started his digital laboratory farm project by applying the smart farming application to the fertilisation system first. Its success spurred him to extend the application to pest control for which he used an automatic spraying system comprising a 137.16-meter-long railing.

His team this system effective and went on to integrate both the fertilisation and pesticide spraying systems which they controlled via the IoT application, he said, adding that the smart farming concept can benefit young agropreneurs involved in fertigation cultivations in terms of their farms’ maintenance, watering, fertilisation and pesticide application aspects.

With the use of emerging technologies such as satellites, drones, artificial intelligence and weather forecast software, farmers can determine crop types that are appropriate for cultivation on their land. This will avoid wastage and save time.

While he is still experimenting with this smart farming system, he noted that it has helped him save time and manpower costs and has given better yields too.

The IoT smart farming application, which can be downloaded on both Android and iOS smartphones, provides farm-related data that have nearly 100% accuracy. Among the data recorded by the sensors are readings pertaining to the volume of fertiliser or pesticide in the tanks, status of the irrigation pumps, humidity level and temperature, crop growth timeline, type of crop, date of cultivation and automatic harvesting and crop yield record.

The farm has 15 sensors and all the data collected from the field is stored in a cloud computing system. Data from the 15 sensors are sent to the cloud every 15 minutes. If the teams need any information on, for example, fertiliser, pesticide, temperature or humidity level, they just have to print out the required data from the list.

They can also download data from individual sensors. And, now they are developing a system that will enable access to all the data via email because it is quite time-consuming for them to download data from the cloud especially when there is too much data.

Technological collaborations with MDEC have also enabled them to activate the sensor control panel via voice commands, he added.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com