Smart Agriculture Solutions
2021-07-13 17:03Webinar | How Agtech Optimise Chilean Farm Work?2021-07-13 17:03More >An international webinar, co-hosted by XAG and its Chilean partner Tecmundo, took place on July 3 to discuss how digital technology can empower Chilean smallholders in their farm work. Expert from Chilean national agricultural research centre was invited to share an outlook on future of LATAM agriculture development. Nearly 500 professional audiences in the farming sector, including XAG's trusted partners from Ukraine, have participated in the event.Rodrigo Quitana, agricultural engineer and specialist in precision agricultural technology, automation, and mechanisation from the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) delivered a speech to introduce the important role of agritech in Chile's national economy. According to his briefing, agriculture is one of the main economic activities in Chile, accounting for 28% of the country's total trade and 11% of its total GDP. Approximately 10% of the Chile's labour force is engaged in agriculture and its related services.Rodrigo Quitana talked about the importance of adtech for agriculture in ChileHowever, the industry of precision agriculture technology in Chile, featuring crop science, drone, robot, and AI, is still small and fragmented with inadequate critical mass in R&D, making it difficult to showcase the clear benefits of agri-tech. In current years, the government of Chile has been putting on efforts to promote research in sustainability and innovation for the agriculture sector, and to address the lack of agricultural workforce as well as the waste of water and pesticides in food production. "High accuracy positioning and centrifugal spraying system can be vital in the real world of farming. In the past whole year, INIA has worked together with Tecmundo on conducting experiments to test the spraying effect of XAG agricultural drone. The result indicated that comparing to traditional farming machinery, drones fitted with iRASS spraying system have better performance in delivering atomised droplet uniformly to target areas and therefore saving water." said Rodrigo.Tecmundo will be working with INIA to commence four trial projects, which include durability test of XAG JetSeed spreading system and setting up standard operation procedure of spray drone. The collaboration aims for the formulation of Chilean national policies and regulations regarding agricultural drones. Meanwhile, long-term drone training courses would be arranged twice a month to provide a quick access of drone technology to equip local farmers, enabling them to start agribusiness and reap benefits with agritech. XAG partner Tecmundo During the seminar, XAG's channel partners from Ukraine also shared stories and experiences on adapting autonomous technology to their own countries. "XAG is combining drones and robots to provide a comprehensive farming solution. The technology is built for farmers to tackle their true needs and also helps us a lot in creating new jobs and careers in Ukraine's agriculture. Now we are getting attention from more and more young generation of farmers," said Valerii Iakovenko, Co-founder of DroneUA, Ukraine. Valerii Iakovenko, Co-founder of DroneUA Seeing the global trend of digitalisation, countries in Latin America are gradually opening their arms to the adoption of tech-driven precision agriculture. According to the Chile government, Robotic equipment such as autonomous robots and drones will witness an increasing demand in the future market, since their capability to reduce manual labour, save resources and lower production costs are now being unveiled for the smallholders.
2021-07-07 07:00XAG Low-carbon Farm Robots Exhibited at UK’s Cereals Agricultural Show2021-07-07 07:00More >• UK farmers enjoying leisure-time sitting in deckchairs while drones and robots taking on spraying and broadcasting. That was the joyful scene from XAG's Europe debut at the Cereals event.• The autonomous P Series Agricultural Drone and R150 Unmanned Ground Vehicle were on display together with potential seen by audience to improve yields while reducing carbon footprints. Farmer enjoys reading while the robot and drone do the praying and broadcastingJoining hands with Harper Adams University, XAG started launching into Europe and showcased its autonomous drones and robots at Cereals 2021, the UK’s largest arable farming event hosted on June 30 and July 1 in Lincolnshire.As its robots can take on farming tasks with precision, XAG is hoping to help farmers grow more with fewer chemicals used and less manpower, while contributing to UK's net-zero farming goal by 2040. With many uses around the farmlands, these lightweight, electric-powered machines aim for a fundamental change of making the transition into low-carbon agriculture. XAG with Harper Adams University Exhibited at Cereal 2021 EventGround-air solution to resolve labour shortageCrowds flooded to the Cereals Drone Zone, where XAG's ground-air farming solutions were demonstrated and attracted a lot of attentions from local farmers and agronomists. XAG P Series agricultural drone, fitted with the JetSeed spreading system, was able to broadcast seeds and fertilisers via stable jet of air. As an electric four-wheel-drive system, the R150 Unmanned Ground Vehicle was spraying the plants on targeted plots with less wear on the soil. The demonstration was led by Harper Adams University mechanical researcher Jonathon Gill, who has been working with XAG to promote the use of drone in the UK. After pre-programming parameters on the agri-app, his team deployed the drones and robots simply with a few clicks to conduct autonomous operations. "Everybody can use a smartphone app to give a path plan and locate a particular task zone for your drones. That means the vehicle will stick to the exact path to centimetre accuracy following RTK positioning system, which allows us to do farm work very efficiently without physically getting our feet into the fields," he said. XAG R150 robot & P Series drone showcase their performance to the publicHigh tech solutions are also welcomed by the British government to rejuvenate many less developed rural communities. The UK agriculture sector is currently facing labour shortage for fewer EU workers coming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the end of EU free movement. Justin Gong, Co-founder of XAG, explained in an interview with CGTN Europe that "drones and robots are not really taking the job of people who work in the rural area, but to complete those left-over jobs." This technology can fix the growing gap between labour shortage and food demand, as well as attracting young people back to the countryside as tech-savvy professional farmers."XAG's drone series can not only spray pesticides, but also with other various functions such as seeding, fertilising, and remote sensing that finds out what is happening in the field for farmers to predict diseases, herbs, and fungus," said Justin Gong. Towards net-zero farming emissionsSince 2018, XAG has been collaborating with Harper Adams University as strategic partners to introduce precision agriculture technologies to the UK market. Since XAG's drones and robots are all powered by smart battery and use fewer chemicals, they can help take the pressure off the environment to reduce carbon and cut down pesticide usage. According to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), agriculture accounts for 10% of UK's total greenhouse gas emissions. As UK pushes its ambitious net-zero emission action plan in agriculture, drones and ground robots are gradually seen their potential for boosting productivity and reducing carbon footprints. During his speech at the Cereals event, Environment Secretary George Eustice published updates on the Sustainable Farming Incentive, which is planned to be rolled out from spring 2022. XAG R150 farm robot was trialled in a fruit farm located in Woore village, Crewe, England, UK"Farmers will be able to earn up to £70 per hectare for actions to improve the health of their soil. Well-managed soil can lead to increased biodiversity, improve water quality and reduce carbon emissions." This encourages UK farmers to adopt green agricultural practices and precision tools. Since this March, the XAG R150 farm robot was introduced into the UK and has been trialled in a variety of orchards, ranging from apple trees, strawberries, to gooseberries and blackcurrant bushes. UK becomes the first European country to embrace autonomous robots for crop spraying. The Dearnsdale Fruit Farm and Grove Estate Vineyard in Stafford got their first anti-fungal sprays of the year by the R150. It is anticipated that high-quality fruit crops can be farmed without causing pollution of soil and water.XAG R150 farm robot spraying on pumpkins As tractors revolutionised agriculture around the world in the 20th century, autonomous drones and robots would be the similar game-changer in the future. They would play a key role in tackling climate change and bring a new step of change to farmers' lives.
2021-07-04 00:41XAG Brings High-tech Farming at 2021 Bloomberg New Economy Catalyst2021-07-04 00:41More >At the Bloomberg New Economy Catalyst event kicking off on June 30, Justin Gong, Co-founder of XAG was invited to share his work on deploying robots and AI in the developing world, with the aim to make smallholder farming more productive, competitive, and sustainable. The inaugural Catalyst cohort is composed of 31 leaders from 18 countries to discuss what’s next in the fields of climate, agriculture, bio-tech, e-commerce, space and digital money.As Founder of Bloomberg L.P. Michael R. Bloomberg introduced in the opening remark, the Bloomberg New Economics Catalyst was founded in 2021 to showcase a new global leader community—across 6 continents—who are creating true impact at the cutting edge of technology and policy. Justin Gong, Co-founder of XAG was selected by the Bloomberg New Economy to be part of the Catalysts for leveraging agri-tech to transform the future of farming. In the dialogue of Climate and Agriculture, Justin Gong and Farmerline CEO Alloysius Attah talked about the agricultural best practices to turn smallholder farmers into tech entrepreneurs. Following is the highlight about how these two catalysts are bringing to farms in smallholder economies.Q1: How did you get into the business in agri-tech? And what is the most exciting part of technology at this point?Gong: About 7 years ago, our team visited the cotton farms in Northwest China and surprisingly saw farmers were holding the handheld devices to spray chemical. It came to us that technology could help farmers connect to the digital world and therefore we start to design drones and robots that are able to broadcast, spray crops, and spread fertilisers. Autonomous technology can also help protect the environment, reduce chemical use, and fill the urban-rural gaps. In the future, connecting the farmland, farmers and the rural economy will be a paradigm shift that is comparable to the industrial revolution. Once you get all the farmers who are producing food into urbanisation and digitalisation, a huge power will release to drive the next growth for the global economy. Attah: Our mission is to create lasting profits for farmers everywhere. Farmers in Africa are currently feeding one third of the global population and will feed the world’s 9 billion people by 2050, with prodigious consumption of fertilisers and seeds. Agritech can play a significant role in supporting farmers to feed the future. It can reduce cost of farming in general and enable governments and companies like Farmerline across the continent to provide information service to farmers via SMS and voice messages.Q2: Are you able to have the impact that technology can deliver among the smallholder farmers? Gong: Compared with other countries such as Australia and America, the sizes of Chinese farmlands are quite small where large agricultural machinery is not suited. Instead of directly selling farmer the devices, we trained lots of young people who went back to the countryside and became drone pilots and robot operators. They could deliver crop spraying services to smallholders, who could not afford but were able to benefit from drones and robots. In 2016, we set up XAG Academy to teach farmers on skills to operate our drones and embrace the concept of sustainable farming. Attah: To help African smallholders maximise their production efficiency and crop yields, Farmerline has developed a mobile information network platform specialised in agriculture. It connects farmers with field agents and agricultural experts who can provide a wide range of agricultural information and training courses, such as weather forecast, market prices and new farming techniques. Q3: What are the main barriers to scale up agri-tech in emerging markets? Gong: Since the piece of farmland is the only income source farmers have, it was hard to make farmers trust your technology to spray pesticides. So, at the very beginning, we had to set up a drone service company. Then with the increasing product sales growth, another problem revealed in agricultural service supply chain, such as training and maintenance. To meet the needs of local users, XAG has built up a complete supply chain that integrates all the existing distributors, like chemical resellers and agricultural machinery dealers, to make sure they are on the same pace. Attah: Language barrier is the major challenge in African countries. Thus, to gain the trust of smallholders there, we send out field officers to conduct weekly community-based workshops in local language to train farmers on improved farming practices and better business practices. All training sessions are reinforced with agronomic and business tips through digital mediums such as voice calls and talking books. Q4: Do you see younger generation keen to stay in rural areas and get involved in a more technical-looking farming, or they still want to flow into cities? Gong: Despite the development of urbanisation, I think young people tends to move back and farming will become a professional job. First, drones and robots would replace manpower for labour-intensive, tedious farm work, which means the individual young farmers can manage bigger farmlands and gain much higher income than the older farmers. The use of less chemical, less seeds, and less fertilisers also means the cost for farming is also reduced. Q5: What do you think is the most significant change to dietary habits in China? A shift from protein-based dietary towards plant-based foods, or remaining high consumption of animal protein? Gong: I can see both trends are happening in China. In the cities, people tend to live a healthier lifestyle, so they tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. But we do have 12 million people moving from rural area to cities every year, and they switch to higher-priced nutrients as their incomes increase. From our perspective, the applications of robots in the farmland are making the produce much better quality and higher quantity. At the beginning for the next decade, the consumption of animal protein will slightly increase, yet later on very soon people will get to into a more balanced diets.