February 23, 2024

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AI to boost business for indoor growers and farmers

An Auckland-based Agtech company is developing artificial intelligence (AI) so that the world’s indoor commercial growers can talk to an avatar about the health and progress of their crops.

According to a recent report, this will help feed growing populations and improve the profitability of under-pressure indoor growers and farmers.

The company is setting up shop in California, America’s fresh produce-growing heart.

The move will help the company have its finger on the pulse of America’s US$20 billion (NZ$ 30.7 billion) vegetable production market and the US$6 – 8 billion berry sector.

The company is pioneering new technologies, but is actually 25 years old. It leapt out of the box around 2011 when it developed Multigrow, which was launched in 2012 and is still sold at present.

Multigrow is a flexible system that can be configured to perform climate, control, fertigation, dosing, batching and irrigation.

The system allowed them to gather a lot of data. Since Agtech is an emerging field, the data can be reinvented to take advantage of all the new technology that existed for AI and data science and analytics and machine vision.

The whole indoor farming industry was in a bubble and this became an opportunity to advance the technology and disrupt the industry with a fusion between plant biological science and data science and advanced technology, which are the three things that Autogrow now utilises.

Data measures everything from temperature and humidity to the alkaline or acidity of water supply, weather factors, wind direction, and solar radiation levels.

The data points are tracked and used to inform the technology about what it needs to do to feed plants, water, and control the temperature, among others.

This information can be used to predict what is going to happen with the fruit, whether it will be healthy or not, as well as if it will be ready for harvest.

Traditional technologies do not have the computational firepower to process all this data.

The company is only one of six companies in the world using this type of tech in the controlled environment.

But it would have needed to find US $100 million to distribute its technology without an established tech platform partner.

Four partners were considered: Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services and the company went with Amazon.

The idea involves pulling all the data up into the Cloud then it runs through the company’s data processing engine.

Their tool sits on Amazon and it allows the company to deploy it to any farm anywhere in the world as long as they have Internet connectivity.

The data from the farms can be taken, processed and then be returned as useful information that would describe what is happening with their crop and farm production.

Growers buy the hardware and subscribe to the technologies suite, which is an “open platform”, thus allowing it to integrate with other operating systems.

AI is the company’s next frontier aiming to be the first Agtech company in the world to commercialise voice technology that allows growers to ask an avatar about the state of a crop.

And it will not be too long before the AI will be able to self-correct the problems and risks it identifies.

PARTNER

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.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

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.

PARTNER

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. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help 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 3,000 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.

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