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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Taiwan boosts its agricultural sector

10/15/2019 02:24:29 PM

Aside from being a tech-savvy nation, Taiwan also has a flourishing agricultural sector. In fact, the first half of 2019 saw the island republic accumulating US$2.7B (nearly 140 billion pesos) worth of agricultural exports, according to Taiwan's Council of Agriculture.

In spite of the skyrocketing numbers, it is expected to grow even more as the country recalibrates its agricultural strategy. Taiwan aims to optimize its farming techniques by using high-precision technology as it commits to the Agriculture 4.0 movement, known to be referred to a redefined farming system that integrates high-technology innovations. According to the World Government Summit, Agriculture 4.0 is a green agricultural revolution with science and technology at its heart.

At present, the Taiwanese government is making efforts in sustaining its growth by raising its investments in precision farming with a pledge of up to $300 million by next year. And to properly implement this,  the following materials are needed: Solar technology for energy needs, lighting technology as different plants grow best at different wavelengths, drone technology for soil and water modeling purposes, Internet of Things for smart sensors, semiconductors to manufacture sensors, control software and data mining algorithms, and robotics to assist in planting and harvesting.

As a leading tech hub, Taiwan is a producer to thousands of electrical engineers, semiconductor specialists, and robotics experts each year, then feeds into a supply chain of thousands of enterprises that create the components required in smart farming.

On the industry side, Taiwan is the second-largest country in the semiconductor industry. They are also a manufacturer for most of the sensors used in IoT and high-tech projects such as robotics, drones and solar technology. Companies have also developed specialized horticulture LEDs that can fine-tune wavelengths to increase plant growth and yield.

Solid examples of smart farming innovations include Owlting, a Taipei-based startup that supplies farmers with big data to optimize operations by monitoring rain, temperature, and chemicals in the soil. Another innovation is LeBio's Spectral X, which is a new type of agriculture net that adjusts sunlight and RGB spectrum ratios to improve plant health and growth over time.

Also, some of the awardees from Taiwan Excellence have a range of hi-tech autopilot helicopters made to help farmers. For instance, robotics giant Thunder Tiger has the Thunder Hawk that can spray pesticides across a hectare of land within eight minutes, greatly improving agricultural efficiency and reducing human and plant exposure to pesticides. Additionally, there's Alpas II, from Geosat Aerospace and Technology, another unmanned drone equipped with computer-controlled flight settings, as well as dual laser sensors, allowing precise and automatic spraying.

By introducing these digital innovations to the farming routine, expected results are increased yields, reduced operating costs, reduced crop damage and minimized water, fuel and fertilizer usage. All in all, these advantages will also flow to the consumer side as it ensures cheaper yet better quality products for everyone.

Author: slickmaster | © 2019 The SlickMaster's Files

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