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Bayer and XAG invest in crop spraying using drones

XAG and Bayer CropScience in Japan will together explore advanced chemical application via fully autonomous drones.

President and Representative Director of Bayer CropScience K.K. Dr. Harald Printz, along with his marketing and sales team, recently paid a visit to XAG’s headquarter in Guangzhou, China to further strengthen the partnership between the 2 companies. XAG develops cutting-edge patented technologies including drones, precision spraying, remote sensing, agriculture AI and Internet of Things (IoT).

XAG’s CEO Peng Bin and co-founder Justin Gong attended a series of meetings with delegates from Bayer to orchestrate a blueprint for mutual business development while discussing how to build a sustainable agroecosystem with science and high-tech in the Japanese market.

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Japan embraces drone technology

Japan is now facing an aging population and a severe shortage of agriculture labour, attributed to the falling birth rate and young people’s increasing reluctance to accept a farm-related job, which is being stigmatised as dirty and dull. To save the shrinking agriculture sector and achieve food self-sufficiency, Japan has started to embrace the drone technology and gradually lessens its regulations toward agriculture UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems).

UAS plant protection and remote sensing

Taking advantage of this opportunity, XAG and Bayer will further advance its step to bring intelligent agriculture solutions such as UAS plant protection, UAS remote sensing and agriculture IoT to the local communities in Japan. This is to help the economy improve field productivity and food value while reducing labour costs and minimising the use of pesticides.

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President and Representative Director of Bayer CropScience K.K. Dr. Harald Printz (left) had a series of meetings with XAG's co-founder Justin Gong (right). - Photo: XAG/Bayer
President and Representative Director of Bayer CropScience K.K. Dr. Harald Printz (left) had a series of meetings with XAG's co-founder Justin Gong (right). - Photo: XAG/Bayer

In 2018, XAG signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement with Bayer CropScience K.K. to jointly promote the local application of agriculture UAS and provide customised plant protection service to over 1.37 million farmers in Japan. Having passed a series of strict verification on crop spraying and obtained approval from Japan Agriculture Aviation Association, XAG has grown its presence in Japan’s agri-tech market.

Digital agriculture platform

Now with deepened cooperation, XAG and Bayer will focus on developing new technologies and new business patterns to achieve sustainable agriculture development in Japan. Whilst continuously conducting research on UAS-specialised pesticides and spraying prescriptions for plant protection, the 2 companies will leverage their own strengths to build a digital agriculture platform.

Real-time data acquisitions

For instance, XAG’s survey UAS XMission, equipped with a high-definition imaging camera or multi-spectrum camera, can precisely conduct aerial operation in different scenarios ranging from field mapping, remote sensing monitoring to collecting information on crop growth. These real-time data acquisitions are to lay a solid foundation on agriculture digitalisation.

Sustainable Farming Programme

In addition, XAG and Bayer, together with Alibaba Rural Taobao, have initiated the Sustainable Farming Programme in which the latest technologies are developed to build an intelligent agriculture management system with a transparent, traceable food value chain. The companies strive to build a solid cooperation network around the globe.

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