Drone Tech for FELCRA’s Smart Agriculture
Drone and robotics technologies will feature in FELCRA’s smart agricultural model, as laid out it a recent MOU with Taiwan-based MATA Aerotech. This is in FELCRA’s commitment to improve the quality of life of more than 100,000 FELCRA settlers.
The MoU outlines a collaboration to integrate technology into smart agriculture model, in line with the government’s aspiration to advance into Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).
The three main aspects of the collaboration are: utilising drone and robotics technology in FELCRA’s plantation management and operations, pioneering research and development to increase innovations in agricultural sector and developing human resource for drone and robotics technology industry.
Overall, the implementation of this MoU will give direct positive impact to FELCRA. Data analysis provided by the drone technology will help improve plantation management by acquiring latest information from the plantations. The use of drone technology will improve crop performance by accurately and quickly mapping plantations as well as assessing crop health and quality. Targeted spraying of fertilisers and pesticides can be done to reduce exposure of pesticides to plantation workers and the environment.
Cost savings will come as a result of more effective management of resources, fertilisers and pesticides, that is aimed at reducing waste and leakages. It will also be achieved by superior labour deployment. The drone technology is able to reduce current workload, allowing plantations’ workforce to be involved in other productive activities.
In addition, developing highly skilled human resource in drone and robotics technology will help to carry out FELCRA’s agenda to build a sustainable model for smart agriculture.
The MoU documents were exchanged between FELCRA Berhad CEO Mohd Nazrul Izam bin Mansor and MATA Aerotech CEO Wan Azrain Adnan. at the Paddy Seed Centre FELCRA Seberang Perak.
According to MATA Aerotech in Taiwan, the use of drone technology in the agriculture sector has provided many positive impacts, including the reduced use of pesticide up to 25 percent, labour cost decreased up to 30 percent and farm yield increased up to 10 percent.
MATA Aerotech specialises in drone and robotics technology; it is a JV between Malaysian and Taiwanese companies, namely Nexus Union, SWS Capital Berhad and GEOSAT Aerospace & Technology Inc. It is a result of facilitation and matching exercise by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, via the Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan and the Institute for Information Industry (III) Taiwan.