Agriculture is increasingly becoming a lot more like manufacturing and no country in the world is better equipped for this change than Taiwan, says Lin Tsung-hsien, chairman of the Executive Yuan’s Council of Agriculture (CoA).
In an interview with The Edge Financial Daily, Mr Lin says the technological needs for smart farming can be best supplied by Taiwan as he reckons the country is an industry leader in most of these technologies. Whether it is indoors in multi-storey hydroponic farms or small-size plots of land, whether underground cultivation or large-scale warehoused plantations, smart farming needs the following technologies: solar technology (for energy needs), lighting technology (different plants grow best at different wavelengths), drone technology (modelling of terrain, soil, water, etc), IoT (Internet of Things) (smart sensors), semiconductors (to create those nifty sensors), software, in particular control software and data mining algorithms, and robotics (for planting and harvesting).
The agriculture minister says switching Taiwan’s agriculture from traditional to smart will guarantee thousands of jobs. The farmer of the future is a data engineer, says Lin but on top of that – such as farmer would also be an electrical engineer and an artificial intelligence (AI) specialist.