November 2018, Guangzhou China – XAG announced that it will host the XAG Annual Conference 2018 (XAAC 2018) on December 14th, presenting the theme as “The Future of Digital Farming”. XAG will release a series of new products and services with partners in digital farming by then. Growers, users, partners, and experts in agriculture from over 15 countries are invited, will discuss how digital farming as a tool can contribute to solve the problems of food safety and security, ultimately, make world’s agriculture smarter and more sustainable.
In the past two years, Chinese agricultural companies have been looking at the sector of digital farming, expecting how the introducing of ICT can digitize traditional farming workflow in the whole cycle of agriculture, including cultivating, seeding, management, harvesting, etc., making farming more accurate, more efficient and more sustainable.
Many of those companies want to grab this rare opportunity, however, the road to digital farming is harder than expected. “The future of digital farming is a race of no-return.” said Justin Gong, co-founder of XAG. XAG’s road to digital farming has not been a plain sailing as well.
Co-founder of XAG, Justin Gong
Today, digitization has become the top of the wave of global business development. Agriculturalsectors are not the only ones looking for the way of digital transformation. At the G20 Hangzhou Summit, G20 leaders endorsed the first digital economy policy document - G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative. Developing digital economy is becoming a global consensus and is also known as the key to the fourth Industrial Revolution.
However, most of the entities have fallen on the road of digital transformation. On 11 Sept., Zhu Wei, Chairman of Accenture Greater China, revealed that only 7% of Chinese enterprises had made a significant achievement on digital transformation, with revenue growth of 7 percent being 5.5 times that of other companies, and the profit margin on sales is 2.4 times than others.
As one of the leading agri-tech companies in China, XAG chose to bring out the concept of “the future of digital farming” when China’s agriculture is considered less developed. Can it really promotes the application of digitization in agriculture under such condition? Can any of China’s agribusinesses become that 7% of the success in this transformation?
XAG's footprints on digital farming can be seen from its development path in the past few years. XAG has been focusing on researching and developing smart and precision farming tools since 2013 and had released a series of spraying drones, plant protection UAS, to the market. In 2016, XGEOMATICS, sub-brand of XAG, was established, to provide farmers with integrated solution of farmland information management, plant protection, Farmland IoT technology, and high-precision geographic information, by utilzing UAS aerial surveying, GIS, cloud computing, etc., help farmers make better decision. In 2017, XAG entered intelligent agriculture field jointly with Ant Financial, implementing AI into plant protection equipment. By 2018, XAG, Bayer, and Alibaba Rural Taobao reached a strategic cooperation, together launched the Sustainable Farming Programme. Soon after that, XAG represented China’s agri-tech company established strategic partnership with Harper Adams University in the UK, which has in-depth research in agriculture, agricultural machinery and sustainable development.
Justin Gong said, “The role of XAG is not limited as a manufacturer of agricultural drones, but the company will also increase the investment in research into AI and farming robots areas, further making world’s agriculture smarter.” It can be seen that XAG has already begun to layout for digital farming for years.
XAG and Bayer Established Strategic Collaboration in Japan
XAG’s choice of partnership also strengthen its global vision of digital farming. Bayer, one of the global 500 companies, XAG's strategic partner, launched a digital farming solution ‘XARVIO’ in 2017, which could help farmer easily and efficiently identify weeds, diseases, pests, crop nitrogen content and damages through smartphones. In subsequent year 2018, Bayer received The Climate Corporation, a digital agriculture company, after the Monsanto acquisition. Climate’s digital farming platform FieldView™ was launched in 2015, has applied in more than 120 million acres of field globally, of which 35 million acres in the United States are paid services, and its number of users has exceeded 100 thousand totally.
XAG, Bayer and Alibaba Rural Taobao Launched the Sustainable Farming Programme
China’s leading agri-tech company XAG, with Bayer’s deployment of global digital farming, have made one big step closer to make global agriculture smarter. In June this year, Bayer, XAG and Alibaba Rural Taobao jointly initiated the Sustainable Farming Programme, together build novel concept demonstration farms globally. In the foreseeable future, farmers can reduce production costs and risks through utilizing XAG’s smart farming tools and farmland information management system; yield and income can be increased by learning from Bayer’s knowledge of crop science and innovative plant protection solutions; and farmer can get better price premium on their productions through Alibaba Rural Taobao’s more transparent traceable supply chain. These series of actions are not only making agriculture more competitive, and also beneficial to the global ecology.
This year, XAG will release a series of new products and services around digital farming, building up an organic brand ecosystem with global contributors in digital farming.