XAG and Bayer aim to develop drones which can specifically tackle pesticide spraying, dispensing seeds and fertiliser granules
XAG and Bayer have announced that they will develop a new drone-based technology for precision spraying to support smart agriculture in Japan.
XAG co-founder and vice president Justin Gong and Bayer Crop Science customer marketing head Masahito Niki held a joint news conference in Tokyo to announce about the cross-industry alliance.
The two companies also hosted a co-branding exhibition between 9 and 11 October at Agri-Week Tokyo, Japan’s largest agriculture technology show, where XAG showcased its new products P30 centimetre-level autonomous drone and JetSeed Granule Spreading System.
P30 is the latest enhanced model of XAG P Series Plant Protection drone equipped with 16L liquid tank and IP67 water-proof feature. It claims to execute intelligent functions ranging from RTK positioning, obstacle avoidance, night operation, swarm operation and terrain tracing.
Compatible with the P30 drone, JetSeed can dispense granules including seeds, fertilisers and pesticides precisely at the targeted environment using high-speed airflows.
Japan has been experiencing food self-sufficiency crisis, which could lead to food security in the country in the coming years. The country has witnessed a record-low 37% of food self-sufficiency rate last year, while 83,000 workers move away from agriculture every year with the average age of farmers reaching 66 years old.
XAG and Bayer partnership will support the ageing farming population in Japan
To cope with the ageing farming population and shrinking agriculture labour, XAG and Bayer have agreed to jointly promote drone technology last November.
The partnership is based on three pillars including business sales cooperation, drone spraying technology development as well as digital farming and digital solutions using the internet of things (IoT) technology.
In addition to harnessing Bayer’s sales network for distribution of XAG drones, the two companies are working on optimum spraying solutions combining unmanned aerial system (UAS) with innovative formulation technology.
XAG aims to build on Bayer’s expertise in seeds and crop protection for using different varieties of crops and further enhance its spraying accuracy with specialised drone products for controlling weeds, diseases, insects and fertilisers.
The Agriculture Ministry of Japan published a drone promotion plan, which includes introducing agriculture drones for one million hectares by 2022 and increasing the number of pesticides for vegetables and fruit trees.
With support from the Japanese Government, the partnership aims to play a key role in scaling up their technology to revive the country’s ageing agriculture.