• XAAC 2019: Empowering Next-Gen Farmers - XAG

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XAG

XAG Wins Top Honour the ‘Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology’ at Crop Science Awards 2019

13 November, LONDON - XAG has been awarded Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology for its smart agriculture solutions at Crop Science Awards 2019 presented in London, United Kingdom on November 12. XAG is the first Chinese agriculture technology company awarded the Crop Science Awards – the ‘Oscar’ of the crop science and technology industry. This recognises XAG as the trailblazer of precision agriculture who innovatively integrates drone, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet-of-Things (IoT) to build a sustainable agroecosystem that grow more nutritious food with minimal ecological footprint on earth. Crop Science Awards, previously known as Agrow Awards, is a prestigious annual award launched 10 years ago by Agribusiness Intelligence to recognise technological breakthroughs and leadership initiatives in the crop protection industry. This year’s award consists of 15 categories honouring excellence in different realms of agriculture, such as digital farming, precision farming and crop protection formulation. Those being shortlisted are carefully evaluated by an international panel of esteemed judges with years of experience in crop science. XAG was selected as the finalists in the following three categories: Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology for accelerating developments in precision agriculture technology, Best Application Technology Innovation for improving the precision and safety of pesticide application and Best Company from an Emerging Region for making the greatest contribution to the crop protection industry. XAG has earned Best Innovation in Precision Farming Technology with its smart agriculture solutions which are crafted to help farmers optimise the use of agricultural resources, improve crop yield and reduce environmental impacts. The smart agriculture solutions are designed into four aspects, which include building digital farming infrastructure such as Real-time Kinematic (RTK) navigation network and high-definition field maps, developing automated drones and robots for precision operation, connecting land, crop, farmers and consumers through the Agricultural IoT System and cultivating Agriculture AI for prescription map application. For example, XAG has designed the fully autonomous agricultural drones (e.g., XPlanet® Agricultural UAS and P Series Plant Protection UAS) which can effectively navigate at centimetre-level accuracy for precision crop spraying, granule spreading and seeding even on complex terrains. Powered by RTK positioning, atomisation spraying and AI prescription, this unmanned aerial system has helped local farmers address different crop protection problems, ranging from weed control and bee pollination in Australia, defeating fall armyworm in Zambia and warding off pinewood nematode in South Korea to large-scale cotton defoliation in China. “This honour also goes to the next generation of farmers who make smart agriculture possible,” said Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, who received the award at the ceremony. Gong pointed out that the future of agriculture lies in the fast-growing smallholder economy and the scale-up of precision farming technology. With stronger production adaptability and flexibility, smallholder farmers, when empowered by nimble, intelligent technology, can produce more nutritious food while meeting consumers’ increasing demands for healthier diets. XAG has also received the Highly Commended honours in Best Application Technology Innovation for its iRASS™ Intelligent Atomisation Rotary Spraying System and Best Company from an Emerging Region. Since tapping into the ever-evolving agriculture technology company, XAG has introduced 42,000 drones into the world’s remote rural area and served over 20 million hectares of farmlands for 6.37 million farmers. About XAGFounded in 2007, XAG is a leading agriculture technology company and one of the world’s largest industrial UAS manufacturers headquartered in China. Through empowering farmers with precision technologies such as drones, AI, cloud computing and IoT, XAG has been committed to improving the productivity, quality and sustainability of agricultural production. The company so far has introduced its smart agriculture solutions into 38 countries and regions, as well as established global partnerships with industry leaders and research institutions, such as Bayer, Alibaba, Huawei, Harper Adams University and Sydney University, to promote digital farming and enhance food safety.
2019-11-13 09:55
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XAG

How to Turn Drone and AI from Sci-fi Fantasy to the Empowerment of Smallholders?

Top agricultural experts and business leaders convened at XAG Annual Conference 2019 (XAAC) in Guangzhou, China on 28 October to voice their opinions on empowering the next-generation farmers for an efficient, sustainable food system. XAAC is a global agriculture technology event in which XAG launched the all-new XPlanet® Agricultural UAS – a fully integrated agricultural drone for precision seeding, granule spreading and crop protection. Panel Discussion: From Sustainable Farm to Tomorow's TableThere has been a widely reported claim that smallholder farmers produce at least 70% of the world’s food [1], but a latest empirical research from Global Food Security Journal proves that this figure is somehow exaggerated. The new paper shows that farmers with less than 2 hectares of lands account for 28-31% of crop production and 30-34% of food supply, while having higher crop diversity and less post-harvest loss [2]. Despite statistical inconsistency, smallholders do play a critical role in providing more nutritious food to feed the growing population with very limited arable lands. But what are the solutions to empowering these smallholders faced with serious constraints? Breaking the Smallholder Dilemma  Though smallholders are contributing to at least one third of the global food production and sustaining healthier diets for more, they are the most powerless and vulnerable to climate hazards. Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG, argued that the conflict between large farms and smallholders is one major challenge that the world’s agriculture sector is facing. “When lands are tradable and congregate into large farms, they become the natural capitals that achieve greater values and substantially elevate productivity, a process similar to industrialisation. But scale farming also brings about monocropping which destroys ecosystem biodiversity.” Smallholders, by contrast, are restricted by lack of access to professional planting technique, new farming tools or financing, whereas large ground-based machinery is inflexible for small segmented fields. “Yet, smallholder economy has its unique advantages,” Gong added. “Smallholders can adjust their production decision swiftly every day. They have much higher demands for nimble, intelligent technology than large-scale farm owners who have to pay for hefty infrastructure expenses and have relatively high opportunity cost of switching into new tech.”Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG This is an underserved market where XAG is tapping to unlock smallholders’ huge agricultural potential. According to Justin Gong, while developing drones, IoT and AI for precision agricultural application, XAG has created the ‘Technological Empowerment Business Model’. It garners collective wisdom and external support from business partners to provide end users with diversified, tailored services on field surveying, AI prescription map and automated crop protection. “A large amount of agricultural data, such as spraying volume, crop growth, weather and soil condition, have been collected by our drones and sensors every day. We share these data to financial institutes and insurance companies which can then quantify farmers’ production behaviours to better manage agricultural credit risks, while smallholders can have equal, convenient access to loans and claims,” Gong noted at the conference.  Scaling up Agricultural Drones Smallholders forms the majority of next-generation famers who count on sophisticated technologies to end hunger and malnutrition. But how to scale up innovations such as drone and AI, which are still beyond most farmers’ reach? Daniel Chisenga, Consul General of the Republic of Zambia, GuangzhouDaniel Chisenga, Consul General of the Republic of Zambia, Guangzhou, stated that farmers in Africa are more susceptible to climate change, notably a significant reduction in rainfall and irrigation. “Advanced technology should be introduced into those regions that could most benefit from it, possibly through financial leasing or government subsidy, to increase smallholders’ ability against environmental risks.” For example, XAG makes its drone adaptive, affordable to help Zambian farmers effectively fight against the destructive fall armyworm. Agricultural drone must constantly evolve to improve its cost-efficiency, practicality and versatility, suggested by Tan Xiang, Executive Secretary of the Research Centre for UAV Applications and Regulation, Chinese Academy of Sciences. “The rapid development of XAG’s drone partly lies in its practicality, which features intelligent application, multi-payload data processing and strong environmental resistance,” Tan added, noting that drones have been applied to crop spraying and seed spreading, and in the future they could do even more from big data analytics, deep learning to pest disease diagnosis. Expert Forum: China's Standpoints of Smart AgricultureThere has also been a consensus that specific attention should be devoted to developing UAS-specialised chemicals for precision spraying. Fu Wei, Director of Information Consulting Department of China Pesticide Industry Association, said “in the past, most pesticides were only for the old-fashioned sprayers. But the booming development of crop protection drone subverts the agrochemical industry and urges big agricultural companies to research efficient, anti-drifting and eco-friendly chemicals for UAS application.” Kohei Sakata, Head of Digital Strategy and Solution for Asia Pacific, Crop Science Division, Bayer“Bayer is the innovation-oriented company which has transformed its business model from originally selling more chemicals to knowledge transfer on how to improve yield with less pesticide use”, said Kohei Sakata, Head of Digital Strategy and Solution for Asia Pacific, Crop Science Division, Bayer. He believed that digitalisation is the key to sustainable farming, in which drones would provide smallholders with more precise, customised spraying solutions based on prescription maps. According to Sakata in his keynote speech, XAG and Bayer has established in-depth collaboration in Japan for over three years. This partnership is primarily based on three aspects, including joint sales promotion, drone spraying technology development and digital farming project. Source:[1] ETC Group (2017). Who Will Feed Us? The Peasant Food Web vs. the Industrial Food Chain. 3rd ed.[2] Ricciardi, V., Ramankutty, N., Mehrabi, Z., Jarvis, L. and Chookolingo, B. (2018). How much of the world's food do smallholders produce?. Global Food Security, 17, pp.64-72. 
2019-11-07 09:58
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XAG

XAG Launches XPlanet® Agricultural UAS at XAAC 2019 that Sets to Unshackle the World’s Smallholder Economy

29 October, GUANGZHOU – XAG Annual Conference 2019 (XAAC), themed ‘Empowering the Next-Gen Farmers’, was hosted on 28 October in Guangzhou, China. It brought together 1300 people, including XAG’s strategic partners, solution providers, agricultural experts and renowned media from 30 countries, for interdisciplinary collaboration. XAG, the world’s leading agriculture technology company and industrial UAS manufacturer, announced the all-new XPlanet® Agricultural UAS at the conference, once again setting new standards for drone technology and redefining the future of agricultural production.  Justin Gong, Co-founder and Vice President of XAG kicked off the conference by presenting the rapid development of China’s agricultural drone industry and the significant role that XAG plays in it. During the past three years, XAG’s UAS crop protection services have covered 20 million hectares of global farmlands. The market penetration rate has been exponentially growing in China’s 29 provinces. XAG has also introduced its crop spraying drones into 38 countries and collaborated with local business partners to promote precision agriculture technology. At the conference, Dr John H Troughton, Global Consultant of Agriculture, Ecology and Energy Programs, the United Nations, shared how Australian farmers use XAG’s mapping and spraying drone to control harmful weeds and increase protein production. Fraser Zhang, CEO of Sunagri Zambia Ltd., talked about the experience of XAG combating fall armyworm to safeguard maize in Africa. Lim Dae Man, CEO of Korea Agricultural Technology Holdings Co., Ltd., explained how XAG’s drone are innovatively applied to golf course weeding and forest protection. The Ultimate Agricultural Drone, Fast & Precise Delivering  “Agricultural UAS needs to be more adaptive to user demands and market changes, ” said Peng Bin, CEO and Founder of XAG, at the much-anticipated product release. As increasingly adopted by more users either on large farms, small fields or rugged orchards, agricultural drone should no longer be limited to crop spraying and instead, should improve its usability, versatility and cost-efficiency to accommodate the regional and seasonal differences of agricultural production.Yearly changes of XAG drone service coverage in China's Xinjiang and Heilongjiang Province The all-new XAG® XPlanet® Agricultural UAS is a high-performance unmanned aerial system that combines atomisation spraying and intelligent spreading technology to provide every user with smart agriculture solution on unlimited application scenarios (e.g., crop spraying, rice direct seeding, rapeseed spreading, grassland restoration, forest protection and crayfish feeding). Designed to improve yield and food quality with 90% less water and 30% less chemical, it is the world’s first fully integrated agricultural drone that pushes spraying efficiency to an unprecedented level of 18 hectares per hour. When mounted with JetSeed™ Granule Spreading System, XAG® XPlanet® can precisely spread rice seeds, through 18m/s high-speed airflow, on 6.5 hectares of land per hour, 80 times more efficient than manual seeding. XAG® XPlanet® Agricultural UAS adopts the highly efficient, stable quadrotor design, compatible with various operating modules of different functions and capacities while elevating its maximum payload to an impressive 20kg. The ground-breaking 4D Imaging Radar provides XAG XPlanet® with impressive ability of environment sensing and automatic obstacle avoidance. Simply via a smartphone or button-based manual control stick, XAG XPlanet® Agricultural UAS can autonomously conduct seeding, fertilisation, chemical spraying and feeding at centimetre-level high accuracy on various terrains, no matter plain fields, hills, mountains, terraces and plateau. Besides the new product launch event, XAG Annual Conference also invited distinguished agricultural experts, business leaders and government officials to converge collective wisdom for a sustainable farming future. In the expert panel China’s Standpoints of Agriculture, experienced agronomists have proposed the major challenges that agricultural mechanisation are facing, such as the unavailability of automated technology for high-value crops. In the panel discussion From Sustainable Farm to Tomorrow’s Table: How will Technology Shape the Future of Agriculture, consensus have been reached on harnessing drone, AI and big data to reconcile the controversy between food safety and climate change. As Zhang Shixian, Professor of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in his keynote speech Chinese Agriculture: Dilemma, Challenges and Solution, “digital technologies are fundamentally revolutionising traditional agriculture. And XAG is the game-changer of this crucial battle.”
2019-10-29 02:52
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