Singaporean start-up aims to democratise smart urban farming

Signal of change / Singaporean start-up aims to democratise smart urban farming

By Madhumitha Ardhanari / 26 Jun 2017

In land-scarce and highly urbanised Singapore, local AgTech start-up Archisen is developing Croptron™, a smart urban farming system that uses sensors, IoT technology and data analytics to improve farm management processes and crop yields.

Data on plant physiology, soil and water conditions will be monitored real-time collectively across all farms using the Croptron system. Instead of employing guesswork and individual experience to improve farm management, Croptron uses this data and collective experiences to drive decisions in areas such as farm planning, irrigation and pest management.

Next up, Archisen is planning to improve data collection through image and video analytics for crop monitoring, automation of seeding and epigenetics for personalised nutrition and better crop yieds.

So what?

Archisen is essentially creating a new knowledge management system for farming.

While many farms and are using data and other smart systems to improve decision-making, the data gathered is often dense and complex, making the decisions stemming from the data to not necessarily yield better results. The collective data gathered by Archisen is used to make a 'growth recipe' that simplifies farming and lowers the barrier to entry in agriculture. One user reportedly ran a 2000 square-foot farm successfully with only two people who had limited prior knowledge in farming.

Currently, the technology is limited to Archisen's farms and Croptron is trademarked. If this form of information simplification were to be extended to mainstream farming systems and the data open to all farmers, it would be an easy way for existing farmers to share best practices and reduce risk, while also emboldening newcomers to give farming a go.


What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

This is great! It will certainly be useful in south asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, but again it would quite a bit of investment to set it up as well as a long return period.
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