Smart Agriculture Solutions
2022-03-28 09:39The XAG R150 Roadshow in Japan：Are You Ready for the Spring?2022-03-28 09:39More >Nowadays, the development of agriculture industry in Japan is heading toward automation and connectivity. Drones and robots are among one of the important forces driving this transformation.As Japanese farmers open their arms to welcome digital technologies, the XAG R150 Unmanned Ground Vehicle can be seen nationwide in Japan and becomes a reliable partner in orchards. From apple, pear, citrus, grapes, to banana, the all-electric and autonomous R150 farm robot has gained recognition from more farmers through a series of field demonstrations, showing the potential to tackle rural aging and labour shortage for incoming spring farming season. Facilitating Pear Tree Cultivation Tottori Prefecture in Western Japan is well-known domestically for the nickname of "Cradle of Pears". It abounds with the high-quality 20th Century Asian Pear and contributes the highest output in Japan. When the demo tour of the XAG R150 landed in Tottori Prefecture, pear growers flocked to witness the spraying operation carried out by XAG Japan. They are highly impressed by the high-precision atomised spraying delivered by the XAG R150, looking forward to taking this intelligent helper home and apply to their own plantation as soon as possible. Citrus Caretaker in Mountain "Sudachi Citrus" is a small, round, green citrus fruit of Japanese origin that is a specialty of Tokushima Prefecture. 80% of the topography in Tokushima is mountainous and farmers have to cultivate fruit trees on steep slopes. However, large ground machine can hardly access these areas, making fruit trees management extremely tiring, troublesome, and labour dependent. With the capacity to traverse various terrains, the XAG R150 brings a turning point to Tokushima's citrus farmers. From spraying crops to delivering agricultural material, the XAG R150 can match farmers’ demand of raising citrus production more efficiently with less pesticide. Safer Alternative to Spray Under Grapevines In Okayama Prefecture, grapevines are arranged and arrayed on overhead trellis to make grapes harvest easier. But under low shelves, farmers must bend over and walk under the trellis to manage crops and pick up the ripe juicy grapes. This can affect the health of farm workers who can easily develop back pain. And now, vineyard managers in Okayama are embracing the participation of the XAG R150 as a safer alternative to grapevine management on farm. This nimble robot can move autonomously beneath the grapevines with ease along the planning route. Then it sprays chemicals bottom-up to grapevines on the trellis, turning the crop care tasks much easier and safer compared with the traditional ways. The Eye-opener to Young Banana Growers The subtropical location makes Okinawa one of the few areas in Japan where bananas are produced. Different from many regions in Japan, people working for agriculture in Okinawa are mostly young farmers, who are interested in leveraging new technologies to improve yields and quality of bananas in a more sustainable way. After watching the spraying demonstration of XAG R150 in a banana plantation, these young banana farmers expressed recognition on the precision spraying results. Some of them have already added this unmanned farm robot into their wish list as an eco-friendly and efficient farming tool.
2022-03-11 16:22Brazil: Woman Agronomist Using Drone to Break Culture Bias2022-03-11 16:22More >For many people, giving up a profitable family business for the career in agricultural research seems to be an unwise decision. In Brazil, there is a female agricultural expert who breaks the glass ceiling and leads the innovation of using XAG drone to fight cotton boll weevil. Instead of inheriting her family farm, Regina Hakvoort from Brazil aims to be the first women entrepreneur to connect farmers from different regions and cultural background.Regina being interviewed by local media to introduce the use of drone Combating the Notorious Cotton Weevil Born and raised in her family farm at the State of S?o Paulo, Regina Hakvoort has natural enthusiasm in agriculture and now serves her rural community as an experienced agronomist. With the education background in the University of S?o Paulo, Regina was well known in her community for actively supporting farmers in pest control and crop protection. Her spirit of devotion and professionalism has also earned her recognition from the S?o Paulo Association of Cotton Producers. In 2012, Regina was invited to join a research group for field projects to study boll weevil, a destructive pest that feeds on cotton buds and flowers. The lack of applied technology to control weevil is the biggest problem facing her research project. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil has established a national ban on the use of Endosulfan, a highly controversial insecticide with acute toxicity. Without any safe and effective chemical solution, Regina was motivated to investigate the untapped potential of agricultural aviation on combating agricultural pests. And the agricultural drone from XAG grabbed her attention, in terms of precisely covering the target area with very low volume of pesticides. Regina Hakvoort Reaping the Benefits of Drones Since large scale farms and plantations in Brazil can spread thousands of hectares in size, spraying crops by plane was one of the main options adopted by farm owners. However, the service price of traditional helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft is too expensive for many farmers to afford. After receiving training in agricultural aviation, Regina decided to throw herself into the aerial application of "low volume spraying" and "ultra-low volume spraying", which refers to the solution of using small amount of chemical to treat a large area. She had been searching for new technology that can spray larger fields at high accuracy, but with lower service costs. The social values of such technology, such as improving crop yields and reducing chemical pollution, were well recognised by Regina. When given the promising work opportunity of her family farm, she turned down the tempting offer and, instead, set up her own company Anáhata to provide Brazilian farmers with precision crop protection solutions. Then it was during her visit to an agricultural machinery trade show, when Regina met XAG's farming drone that could fulfil the application of ultra-low volume spraying. "What attracted me most is its rotary atomisers, which can produce fine droplets and spray crops at variable rate, for example, 1 litre per hectare," she said. Regina together with staff from Megadrone BrazilServing Culturally Diverse Farmers To better understand the practical use of drone, Regina rented an XAG agricultural drone from Megadrone Brazil and put it into the trial of a pest-ravished cotton field. It turned out that the autonomous drone was successful in defeating boll weevils. Flying on the preset route and simply controlled via a smart phone, the drone sprayed the cotton crops thoroughly only with minimal use of pesticides. As her ideas brought to life, Regina invested in more drones to serve the growing needs of farmers at affordable price. Coming from different cultural backgrounds, her customers include large farm owners, as well as smallholders who grow grape, citrus, coffee, and other cash crops. With her business getting on track in just one year, much faster than expected, the company started to making profits and collaborated with the locally famous agricultural cooperatives, including the Regional Cooperative of Coffee Growers (Cooxupé) and Fundercitrus, a professional association on sustainable development of the citrus industry. Up to now, Regina's company has become the service provider to 15 large-scale farms, managing over 1,100 hectares of plantation fields. "Empowered with agronomic science and drone technology, I believe we can bridge the gap between farmers from different backgrounds and diverse cultures, who share the same goal to cultivate good foods." Regina discussed the spraying plan with a drone pilot in Fundecitrus' plantation
2022-03-02 16:01Cambodia’s First Female Drone Pilot to Uplift Smallholder Farming2022-03-02 16:01More >Tou Kousal showcases her XAG agricultural drones for daily use in farm workIn Cambodia, agriculture plays a leading role in the economy, with over 34% of its population employed in this sector. For all the crops produced, rice is the principal staple food to feed the Cambodian and makes up around half of the GDP.However, water shortage and rising labour cost have posed challenges to this growth engine. As farmers struggle to grow rice against all odds, agricultural innovations are gradually on the rise in Cambodia, which aspires to attain higher middle-income country by 2030. From A Traditional Farmer To Woman Entrepreneur Tou Kousal is the first female drone pilot to introduce drone spraying solutions in Battambang province, known as the "rice bowl" of Cambodia. As a pioneering woman entrepreneur in agriculture, she not only obtains a decent income as expected, but has also been helping local farmers boost crop yields and reduce their input cost of agrochemical, water, and labour. Since the business started, she now owns two crop protection service teams with 7 pilots in total, which have served hundreds of farming households and covered 900ha farmlands with XAG's spray drones. Two years ago, before piloting the farming drone business, Tou Kousal was still a farmer operating a 10-hectare field with limited access to new tools. She also ran a family agrochemical store with her husband. What advanced her decision to throw herself in the whole new realm was the Covid-19 pandemic. Tou Kousal stood beside a paddy field with one of her dronesIn October 2020, when the pandemic attacked Cambodia, she bought the first XAG agricultural drone and offered crop spraying service to farmers, who were faced with a lack of labour and material supplies. She started to see the values of drone in reducing resources and not affecting the health of workers. "The outbreak had posed pressure in both the economy and labour market, and we had to find a way to yield more with less. When I found out XAG agricultural drones can be such a solution, I was determined to start the new agri-journey," said Tou Kousal. A Bumpy Road To Challenge The Tradition As the social media network spread across the rural community, Kousal like many others also used Facebook for friend connection and entertainment."I had seen a lot of companies advertising spraying drones on the platform but none of them grabbed my interest, until XAG's Cambodian distributor Red Sparrow brought the XAG innovations in front of me," she said. Tou Kousal and Red Sparrow in a field show introducing XAG to the localsAutonomous flight and precision spraying are the two most outstanding features for Kousal's consideration. This means that less water and pesticides are needed to cultivate crops, while the burden of manual labour can be relieved. Traditional rice farming in Cambodia heavily relies on rainfall and manual spraying. Despite spending a lot of time, money, and physical effort, farmers often found themselves with low yield and therefore undesirable revenue. As a farmer herself, she was aware of the urgency to make a change and then discovered the possibility of what XAG agricultural drones can do in crop production. Although drone has numerous benefits in saving costs, making it accepted by farmers was never an easy job. Without any knowledge of new tech, most farmers in Cambodia did not trust the capability of the drones in providing good care to their field crops. To gain farmers' recognition, Kousal and her team conducted a series of demonstrations on fields by comparing the performance between drone spraying and manual spraying. The results from drones are shown convincing in efficiency and precision, which has dispelled the misgivings and increased the popularity of drone service. Local farmers watched the demonstration of XAG agricultural drone spraying cropsIn just a year, the performance of drone-based crop protection has been witnessed and recommended through word-of-mouth. An increasing number of Cambodian farmers are willing to have a try and encourage Kousal to expand the size of her service team. "XAG drones can be set up easily and fast, and thanks to that a team of 2 to 3 people can spray 10 to 30 acres per day." In the past, the same workload could take several days for farmers to complete with hand sprayer. Kousal explained that this new form of spraying solution does not damage crops and helps increase crop yields by 10% to 15%.XAG agricultural drone is guarding the rice in Cambodia The advancement of technology not only promotes food productivity in Cambodia, but also empowers rural women to fight poverty. Beyond the role of next-generation farmer, Tou Kousal considers herself more of an entrepreneur and forerunner, who are also educating more modern farmers to boost Cambodia’s agriculture.