Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Taiwan Promotes Agricultural Transformation by Combining Human Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Double Farmers’ Income
August 31, 2021

While the importance of agriculture to the Taiwanese economy has declined from its heyday, Taiwan still has a reputation as a fruit kingdom. However, Taiwan’s farming areas are limited and scattered, making it difficult to compete with overseas farms with large-scale farming areas in terms of production costs. For this reason, the Taiwanese government has combined Taiwan's advantages in planting technology with the IT industry by introducing artificial intelligence (AI) technology to transform Taiwanese farms into standardized production and a competitive agribusiness in the global market.
If agricultural crops, especially seasonal fruits, can be harvested steadily throughout the year, the prices of crops are estimated to be 2 to 4 times higher than that in the peak season. For this reason, the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) of Taiwan has joined forces with Pingtung county government and a Taiwanese communications company U-Sync Internet Service Co. (Taiwan) to establish a smart demo field in Dragon Digital Farm Co., Taiwan's largest dragon fruit farm. Pingtung country is Taiwan’s main dragon fruit production county as it plants 1/4 of the area of the county with dragon fruits.
U-Sync provides low-cost IoT sensors with a built-in SIM card and solar power supply features at a reasonable monthly fee. By adjusting the location of the sensors based on the needs of their farms, farmers do not need to spend 2 hours on field patrols every night, thereby enhance the efficiency of farm management. The solution features AI-controlled glasses to tell which flower buds should be kept or removed and AI-controlled LED lights to provide supplementary lighting at farms, as well as image sensing technology to conduct smart fruit grading.
At present, over 300 Taiwanese companies have participated in the Smart City Taiwan Project initiated by the government, which has incubated more than 220 smart services in Taiwan and has benefited over 8.54 million Taiwanese people.