Malaysian Farmers Gain Access To Satellite, AI Tech For Improved Agriculture

Malaysian farmers will have free access to satellite data and artificial intelligence technology to improve yields through better use of chemicals and fertilisers under an initiative spearheaded by Mimos Berhad, a Government agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOSTI).

Mimos, the national ICT research and development agency, is teaming up with HELM AG, a German crop protection and fertiliser group, and chemical manufacturing group Ancom Nylex Berhad, a local partner, to apply digital agriculture solutions through SKYFLD, a powerful digital agriculture platform.

SKYFLD is HELM AG’s precision farming platform, which enables farmers to map their fields and monitor crop health using satellite data. This data is used to improve yields by targeting fertiliser and crop treatments. Aside from optimising the use of these inputs, farmers can monitor biomass performance and health to identify and investigate critical zones and take countermeasures.

“This will help farmers to improve their yield while reducing the environmental impact of farming by cutting waste and addressing issues like agricultural run-off.” said Dato’ Siew Ka Wei, the Executive Chairman of Ancom Nylex Berhad, a key producer of herbicide active ingredients in Southeast Asia.

“The rising costs of fertiliser and chemicals have significantly affected farmers’ livelihoods. We believe digital agriculture is one of the ways to improve their sustainability and to ensure sufficient food production and the country’s food security,” added Dato’ Siew.

“With this partnership, we aim to increase agricultural productivity across the country, support farmers and thereby contribute socially and environmentally by reducing the footprint of agriculture,” said Stephan Schnabel, the CEO of HELM AG.

Based in Hamburg, Germany, HELM AG is a family-owned company established in 1900 with up to 100 subsidiaries and participations in more than 30 countries. HELM AG also provides satellite services to the agricultural sector in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

This digital agriculture initiative also includes the use of HELM’s mobile crop doctor, the Plantix digital application for farmers to upload photos of sick plants for analysis. Covering 30 major crops, Plantix uses AI to recognise more than 400 different types of plant pests, diseases, and nutritional deficits to enable farmers and agronomists to farm more efficiently and sustainably.

Plantix is available in 18 languages and has been downloaded more than 10 million times, which makes it the top agricultural app for damage detection, pest and disease control, and yield improvement for farmers worldwide.

Mimos had on 5 September 2023 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with HELM AG and Ancom Nylex Berhad on the provision of the latest satellite technology and AI technology to Malaysian farmers to support food security.

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