- Toward the formation of producing areas & stable food supply -
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization or NARO (Headquarters: Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture/President: Dr. KYUMA Kazuo) in collaboration with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation or "NTT East" (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo/President: Mr. NAOKI Shibutani) and NTT AgriTechnology Corporation (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo/President: Mr. TAIGA Sakai), will promote the nationwide expansion of data-driven remote farming support project, by combining the system based on the experience and know-how of remote farming support using ICT owned by NTT East and NTT AgriTechnology Corporation and Knowledge of NARO experts and Agricultural Data Collaboration Platform (WAGRI※1). We will work on remote farming support for onion production as the first demonstration site, in the field of Mirai Kyoso Farm Akita Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Ogata Village, Minamiakita-gun, Akita Prefecture/Representative: WAKUI Tōru), which was the impetus for this initiative.
Background and History
In recent years, the agricultural field faces many issues such as necessity to secure farmers and passing the farming technology to the next generation due to the rapid population decline and aging of farmers in Japan. Also globally, there are risks due to infectious diseases, geopolitical risks, and risks to the stable food supply due to worsening climate changes.
In light of these issues, NARO, NTT East, and NTT AgriTechnology Corporation concluded a partnership agreement in February 2020. We have collaborated on various projects that contribute to the development of regional agriculture and the stable supply of food by realizing data-driven productivity improvement, labor saving, and risk reduction.
NARO has specialists with knowledge in breed development, cultivation technology, etc., and is promoting the development of data-driven agricultural technology such as WAGRI. NTT East and NTT AgriTechnology Corporation utilizes ICT to enable remote experts to grasp the production site environment in real time using video and sensor data and also possess and provide mechanisms for analyzing accumulated data and providing accurate support and guidance in both directions. NARO, in collaboration with NTT East and NTT AgriTechnology Corporation, will launch a "remote farming support project" that realizes "regional agriculture as a growth industry" and "stable food supply."
The remote farming support system shares images and environmental data of producers' farms and crops with remote experts in real time. Based on data such as the soil, weather, growth information, and work history of the farm, we provide support and guidance in accordance with NARO's Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) through two-way communication.
In the first stage of this project, NARO experts will provide remote support and guidance for onion cultivation to verify the effects and improve the technology. In addition, by utilizing WAGRI's API※2, we will provide technical advice in line with NARO's onion production SOP, aiming to realize stable onion production.
In the second stage, we will also consider a mechanism along with implementation of AI, for automatically presenting cultivation work plan based on weather information and growth forecast, pest control plan based on the prediction of outbreak, shipment plans, etc. based on market forecasts to the producers. This is expected to reduce the burden on specialists who provide support and guidance.
In the future, based on the efforts in Ogata Village, we will promote nationwide expansion in three years by expanding the applicable areas and target items for remote farming support.
- ※1 - A public cloud service that provides useful data and programs for agriculture, such as weather, farmland, and yield forecasts. (https://wagri.naro.go.jp/)
- ※2 - API stands for (Application Programming Interface) - A mechanism for connecting multiple applications, etc.