Filipino farmers to benefit from drones as Bayer pushes AI farm technologies

Calamba City, February 26, 2020 – Filipino farmers will soon have access to drones that intelligently map farms or collect crop growth information via remote sensing as Bayer partners with XAG of China on AI (artificial intelligence) farm technologies.

   The use of drones will tremendously raise efficiency in small Filipino farmers’ production. 

   A strategic partnership on digital farming technology in the Philippines and Southeast Asia was forged under a Memorandum of Understanding between Bayer and XAG which claims to be world’s largest drone supplier.

   XAG’s drones, specifically the granule spreading system, is used in seeding, fertilization, and plant protection in an arial way accurately through AI techniques.

Drones intelligently used in seeding, fertilization, and plant protection

   Bayer was represented by Andre Kraide, the company’s head for its CropScience division in Southeast Asia and Pakistan. XAG was represented by its Co-founder, Justin Gong.

   The technology will enable farmers to overcome farming challenges including labor shortage, water availability, product stewardship and safe use, and most importantly, allowing them to grow more with less.

   “It is estimated that around 500 million smallholder farmers produce 80 percent of the

food consumed in the developing world,” said Kraide.

   “We know that we need to double food production to feed 10 billion people by 2050.  But we also know that we will not get more land or resources to do so. This is where digital farming comes into the picture.”

   “As the leader in agriculture, Bayer is committed to enabling smallholder farmers access

to digital technology and solutions. We look forward to working closely with XAG, our

channel and value chain partners, as well as the governments and other key stakeholders

in the countries to leapfrog the smart agricultural movement in Southeast Asia and

Pakistan from farm to table,” he added.

   The partnership involves distribution of XAG products through Bayer’s channels.  It will jointly promote and develop markets through partnerships with local distributors.

   “XAG has grown from a drone manufacturer based in Guangzhou, China, to the world’s

leading agriculture technology company with a 20 million-hectare crop protection service

record. Our product portfolio includes survey and spray drones, agricultural utility

vehicles, and IoT (Internet of Things) equipment such as weather stations and farm cameras,” said Justin Gong, co-founder of XAG.

Filipino farmers’ key to food security

   The Philippines has been striving towards self-sufficiency in rice and corn through the

Department of Agriculture and part of the government’s focus has been on agriculture

modernization and mechanization.

   “At a glance, we are seeing scarcity of labor and improper application of crop protection products as concerns that can be solved right away by using drones,” said Iiinas Ivan Lao, country commercial lead for Bayer CropScience in the Philippines.

   “Farmers would be able to optimize their usage of farm inputs such as seeds and fertilizers since this technology promotes precision agriculture, hence would

lead to reduced production costs while improving yield output and income,” claimed Lao. Rex Bryan P. Rivera

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