2018 November, Tokyo Japan – Bayer CropScience K.K., XAG Co., Ltd. and XAIRCRAFT Japan K.K. signed exclusive strategic cooperation agreement in Tokyo, agreed to jointly carry out UAS application based on the Japanese market, providing customized plant protection service for Japanese farmers to meet the increasing demand. Director of Bayer CropScience K.K. Dr. Harald Prints, VP of XAG Justin Gong and CEO of XAIRCRAFT Japan K.K. Sumida Yasuhiro attended the agreement signing ceremony.
XAG Co., Ltd. was founded in 2007, committed to the development and implantation of agricultural technology, and has become one of the world's leading UAS R&D manufacturers and a smart agricultural solution provider. XAIRCRAFT Japan K.K. was established in 2016 with headquarters in Hyogo Prefecture, promoting the application of agricultural UAS technologies in Japan.
As a leading life science enterprise, Bayer became one of the largest business of seeds and agricultural chemicals after acquiring agricultural enterprise Monsanto in June 2018. Bayer now plays a leading role in the global seed industry, plant protection, and digital farming. And Bayer CropScience K.K. is one of the largest seeds and agricultural chemical providers in Japan, offering efficient plant protection solutions for rice, large field crops, vegetables, and fruit plantations.
Dr. Harald Prints, Director of Bayer CropScience K.K. said, “Bayer has been looking for partners who share similar values, and at this point, XAG shares similar forward thinking with Bayer.”
XAG’s P Series Plant Protection UAS has gone through a strict verification process of spraying applications and finally gained approval by Japan Agriculture Aviation Associate (JAAA). Meanwhile, XAIRCRAFT Japan K.K. has been implementing UAS plant protection experiences based on 4 million hectares of sprayings into localized application in Japan, including safety experiment on local crops, UAS-specialized chemical research with Bayer, as well as pushing legislation of fully autonomous UAS sprayings.
In rural Japan, the average age of farmers is over 60 years old, and lack of successors has made the aging problem become severer over time. Therefore, automated drones are needed for Japan's agricultural market to better resolve the labor shortage.
“There are many similarities between the market of China and Japan, small-scale farming is more popular, and the supervision of agricultural chemicals is very strict.” Said Justin Gong, VP of XAG, “XAG’s precise and intelligent Plant Protection UAS has a great advantage in Japan. Our prime goal in Japan is to better serve small-scale farmers, help them improve efficiency and create more value for their production, as well as reduce chemical usage and human labor in the process.”
XAG and Bayer are working together to achieve this goal. Both sides will open up a distribution network in Japan to target more than 1.37 million farmers in the country and promote intelligent, precise, efficient and safe UAS plant protection services. In the future, XAG and Bayer will further accelerate new technologies and new business model development, continue to develop specific plant protection agents for UAV plant protection spraying, and jointly develop digital agricultural platforms for Japanese farmers.
Bayer CropScience K.K. Executive Director and Director of Customer Market Niki stated: “The partnership aims to capture more than 30% of Japan's agricultural drone application market in the first year.”
In addition, there is a growing demand for food security and food safety around the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the global population will grow to 10 billion by 2050, which means that the world needs to increase food production by at least 50% to meet the needs of population growth. How to improve the efficiency of agricultural production and improve the quality of agricultural products has become a global issue.
For this reason, in June 2018, XAG signed a global strategic cooperation agreement in Beijing with Bayer and Alibaba Rural Taobao, namely “The Sustainable Farming Programme”. The Programme hopes to provide farmers around the world with smart agriculture solutions combining agricultural automation equipment, precision agriculture aviation, agricultural technology development, rural Internet of Things, crop science, agricultural big data platform, and so on.
A series of verification of UAS plant protection and digital farming technology has been carried out in China and Australia, which will contribute to world food security and food safety in the future. Above such comment ground, the further collaboration between XAG and Bayer in Japan has set another valuable milestone for both sides.