Satellite data and mobile crop doctor for farmers under Mimos project
By Digital News Asia September 6, 2023
- Mimos partners Helm AG & Ancom to implement digital agriculture solutions
- To provide satellite & AI technology to support M’sian farmers' food security
Malaysian farmers will gain free access to satellite data and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance yields through more efficient use of chemicals and fertilisers. This initiative is spearheaded by Mimos Berhad, a government agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology (Mosti).
In a statement by the chemical manufacturing group, Ancom Nylex Berhad, the firm announced that Mimos will collaborate with Helm AG, a German crop protection and fertiliser group, and Ancom to implement digital agriculture solutions through Skyfld, a robust digital agriculture platform.
Skyfld, which is Helm AG’s precision farming platform, empowers farmers to map their fields and monitor crop health using satellite data. This data is utlised to enhance yields by precisely targeting fertiliser and crop treatments.
Aside from optimising input usage, farmers can monitor biomass performance and health to identify critical zones and take necessary countermeasures.
Siew Ka Wei, the executive chairman of Ancom Nylex Berhad, a key producer of herbicide active ingredients in Southeast Asia, emphasised that this will assist farmers to improve their yield while reducing the environmental impact of farming by reducing waste and addressing issues like agricultural runoffs.
“The rising costs of fertiliser and chemicals have significantly affected farmers’ livelihoods. We believe digital agriculture is one of the way to enhance their sustainability and ensure sufficient food production and the country’s food security,” he added
Meanwhile, Stephan Schnabel, CEO of Helm AG hopes that this collaboration with Mimos will increase agricultural productivity across the country, support farmers and contribute socially and environmentally by reducing the agriculture footprint.
“Malaysia, with its economic growth and favourable business environment, is a perfect hub for Helm AG to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia further. In this instance, Helm AG will be able to gain a deeper understanding of local practices to identify the best use cases for Malaysia, he said.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, Helm AG is a family-owned company established in 1900 with up to 100 subsidiaries and participations in more than 30 countries. The firm also provides satellite services to the agricultural sector in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
This digital agriculture initiative also includes the use of Helm’s mobile crop doctor, the Plantix digital application which allows farmers to upload photos of sick plants for analysis. Covering 30 major crops, Plantix uses AI to recognise more than 400 different types of plant pests, diseases, and nutritional deficits to enable farmers and agronomists to farm more efficiently and sustainably.
Currently available in 18 languages, Plantix has been downloaded more than 10 million times, making it the top agricultural app for damage detection, pest and disease control, and yield improvement for farmers worldwide.
On September 5, 2023, Mimos signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Helm AG and Ancom Nylex Berhad regarding the provision of the latest satellite technology and AI technology to Malaysian farmers to support food security.
The three parties will share their expertise and roll out a local pilot phase to ensure quality assurance across crops, regions, and other criteria throughout the country. Data collected will be treated confidentially and in compliance with government guidelines. The results from the first phase of this partnership will be reviewed by the first quarter of 2024.
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