Kambyan rolls out next phase of digital farming project


KAMBYAN Network, which is implementing digital farming methods at an 800ha oil palm plantation in Tanjung Malim, Perak, is rolling out phase 4 of the project.

Under this phase, the company will introduce its autonomous harvesting, fertilisation, weeding and transportation system using robotics technology and artificial intelligence (AI), also known as AutoHaFeWeT, at the plantation belonging to the National Land Finance Co-operative Society, it said in a statement yesterday.

The first three phases of the 24-month project, which kicked off in April, have been completed.

“In contrast to traditional farming where farmers solely depend on humans to study leaves, soil and perhaps predict the rain, digital farming solutions uses sensor drones, autonomous spraying, harvesting and transportation drones,” Kambyan said.

Its unmanned system is enhancing the use of robotics, Internet of Things, AI and data analytics to achieve a smart farming method which will manage water and nutrient disbursement, pest and disease control, leaf analysis and elevation as well as predict rainfall.

The company noted that the average Malaysian farmer today is in his 50’s, so adopting these technologies would prove to be challenging. Group ED Capt Sudhir A K Kumaren believes the young generation could, however, be encouraged to be involved in farming by embracing change and adopting new technologies to replace old practices.

“Digital farming usage of smart devices — for example, controlling a drone with a tablet and receiving data on a smart phone — will be attractive to the tech-savvy youths, especially in the rural areas,” he said.

The Kambyan group of companies owns a training and education centre called Adroit College and UAS & Robotics Academy.

UAS & Robotics Academy focuses on training local youths on drone operations while Adroit College offers technology courses such as on Industry 4.0.

“Youths who enrol in these training courses at our college will have a surety of employment within the Kambyan group when they graduate, because we need 200 skilled staff by year 2020,” Sudhir said.

Kambyan Network, he said, strives to make smart farming financially viable for the small stake farmers and open up jobs for the nation’s younger generation. — Bernama