Felcra turns to drone, robotics technology for smart agriculture model
By Digital News Asia July 26, 2019
- Promote Felcra’s agenda to build a sustainable model for smart agriculture
- encourage young Malaysians to venture into the agricultural sector
MATA Aerotech signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Felcra Bhd, at the Paddy Seed Centre Felcra Seberang Perak. The ceremony was witnessed by Mohamed Azmin Ali, Minister of Economic Affairs.
The MoU documents were exchanged between Felcra chief executive officer Mohd Nazrul Izam Mansor and Mata Aerotech chief executive office Wan Azrain Adnan. Also present was Felcra chairman Mohamad Nageeb Ahmad Abdul Wahab.
This MoU outlines a collaboration to integrate technology into a smart agriculture model, in line with the government’s aspiration to advance into Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).
The MoU reinforces Felcra’s commitment to increase its organisational achievements as well as to improve the quality of life of more than 100,000 Felcra settlers.
Mata Aerotech specialises in drone and robotics technology. It is a joint venture between Malaysian and Taiwanese companies, namely Nexus Union, SWS Capital Bhd and Geosat Aerospace & Technology Inc.
It is a result of a facilitation and matching exercise by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, via the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan and the Institute for Information Industry (III) Taiwan.
Mata Aerotech possesses in-depth expertise and experience in drone and robotics technology which has been developed since 2009.
The company is involved in various activities including research and development (R&D), manufacturing and assembly, testing, training, service provision and data analytics.
The MoU outlines three main aspects of collaboration, which are: utilising drone and robotics technology in Felcra’s plantation management and operations, pioneering research and development to increase innovations in agricultural sector and developing human resource for drone and robotics technology industry.
Overall, the implementation of this MoU will have a direct positive impact to Felcra. Data analysis provided by drone technology will help improve plantation management by acquiring latest information from the plantations.
The use of drone technology will improve crop performance by accurately and quickly mapping plantations as well as assessing crop health and quality.
Targeted spraying of fertilisers and pesticides can be done to reduce exposure of pesticides to plantation workers and the environment.
Cost savings will come as a result of the more effective management of resources, fertilisers and pesticides, that is aimed at reducing waste and leakages.
It will also be achieved by superior labour deployment as drone technology is able to reduce current workload, allowing plantations’ workforce to be involved in other productive activities.
In addition, developing highly skilled human resource in drone and robotics technology will help to carry out Felcra’s agenda to build a sustainable model for smart agriculture.
Mata Aerotech chief executive Wan Azrain Adnan opined that Felcra’s move towards smart agriculture can attract more agricultural entrepreneurs to follow in its footsteps.
In Taiwan, the use of drone technology in the agriculture sector has provided many positive impacts, including the reduced use of pesticide up to 25%, labour cost decreased up to 30%and farm yield increased up to 10%.
At the same time, it will also encourage young Malaysians to venture into the agricultural sector, lowering the country’s dependency on foreign labour.
“The smart agriculture model will change this country’s agriculture landscape. The future is here.” said Wan Azrain.