Agriculture is one of the major industries in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, it is still traditionally labour-intensive and not sustainable. Malaysia-based Aerodyne Group, ranked as the world’s first drone service provider*, is disrupting agricultural practices with their new key solution called Agrimor. To discuss further, we interviewed Mr. Kamarul A Muhamed, the Founder and Group CEO of Aerodyne.
Bottleneck Issues in Malaysia Agriculture Related to Labour Shortage
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, 31% out of 2 million migrant workers are working in the Agriculture sector in Malaysia in 2019. And when Covid-19 struck, there were big concerns on the shortage of the labour and health issues of the migrant-workers. Pests and diseases had been an unremitting dilemma for the agriculture crops like palm oil and paddy plantation. One example of a major pest attack in the palm oil industry is by the Rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), a pest which always resulted in loss of productivity, irreversible damage to plants and plant death. Without proper management, the whole plantation could be affected and destroyed within days. It is more difficult to manage if the plantation area is big and with limited manpower to do pesticide spraying tree by tree. In addition to this, not only pesticide spraying, but there are other tedious works to be done to take care of the farm which requires a definite solution immediately.
One Stop Centre For Precision Agriculture
That’s where Agrimor comes in to enhance the agriculture management through Precision Agriculture. With Agrimor, farmers could leverage on a drone equipped with advanced technology such as hyperspectral cameras, sensors, IoTs, artificial technology for observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops to optimize returns on inputs while preserving resources effectively. Farmers can request for the service to do fertilizer and pesticide spraying, seeding, mapping as well as to get holistic analysis of the farm’s condition. Agrimor services can be deployed within 24-48 hours upon request. Therefore, farmers can easily plan their work. Agrimor solutions can be applied for various crops especially for large plantations such as paddy, pineapple and oil palm.
Agrimor Welcomes Global Partners For More Effective Solution
To deliver more effective solutions through Agrimor, Aerodyne is working closely with partners not only local but also from Japan that have the advanced technology in sensors, cameras and robotics. Some of the Japanese consortiums that already inked collaboration with Aerodyne including Real Tech Fund, KOBASHI HOLDINGS and ACSL which enable Aerodyne to leverage on a whole suite of expertise and technologies. For example, by having advanced cameras and sensors, Aerodyne will gain more valuable data on the plant’s condition to be analysed, which would lead to more specific intervention measures. All these technologies will be integrated with Aerodyne’s inhouse software development as an end-to-end Precision Agriculture solution. Furthermore, farmers do not need to purchase their own drone or hire new people to use Agrimor services and hence it is zero Capex for the user, making it easier for farmers to use the service. The work will be done by experienced professionals from Aerodyne.
Agrimor is currently in pilot projects with several large palm oil plantation and paddy plantation owners in Malaysia and Indonesia. Current trials at those plantations show that by using Agrimor, the plantation can increase 400% productivity as compared to manual labour. Mr. Kamarul mentioned that by 2023, Aerodyne will offer Agrimor solutions to all Southeast Asia countries. He added, “But to do this, we are expecting to raise more funding and welcome more collaborations with potential partners”.
*in the 2021 Drone Industry Insights (DII) ranking
About Aerodyne Group
Aerodyne Group (https://aerodyne.group) is a DT3 (Drone Tech, Data Tech, and Digital Transformation) drone-based enterprise solutions provider, and a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence as an enabling technology for large-scale data operations, analytics, and process optimization.
Aerodyne employs over 640 drone professionals to operate on an unprecedented level in the UAS services sector, having managed more than 560,000 infrastructure assets with 458,058 flight operations and surveyed over 380,000 km of power infrastructure across 35 countries globally.
Aerodyne is ranked first in the world by Drone Industry Insights (DII) in its ‘Drone Service Provider Ranking 2021’; was named Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Asia Pacific UAV Services Company of 2019’; and is a recipient of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Malaysia’s ‘Industry Excellence Gold Award 2019’.
The company’s founder and Group CEO, Kamarul A Muhamed, is ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020’, ‘EY Technology Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 Malaysia’ as well as ‘SEBA Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020’.