Japan’s Topcon to help Thailand promote smart agriculture, increase productivity

19, Oct. 2019

Japan’s Topcon Corp. and the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in smart agriculture development in Bangkok on Sept. 20, 2019. MOAC Vice Minister Anan Suwannarat (L), Arata Kimura (R), Topcon’s infrastructure business division. (Photo courtesy of Topcon Corp.)
Japan’s Topcon Corp. and the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in smart agriculture development in Bangkok on Sept. 20, 2019. MOAC Vice Minister Anan Suwannarat (L), Arata Kimura (R), Topcon’s infrastructure business division. (Photo courtesy of Topcon Corp.)

BANGKOK, NNA - Topcon Corp., a Japanese manufacturer of survey equipment, will help the Thai government develop smart agriculture to enhance production by using advanced technologies.

Topcon signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation with Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives in Bangkok on September 20, the Tokyo-based company said in a press release on Wednesday.

The deal was Topcon’s first with the Thai authorities, a company spokesman said.

Smart agriculture means use of advanced technology to increase quality and the efficiency of output.

Under the agreement, Topcon will lease equipment that it has developed for demo experiments on production of rice, corn, cassava, sugar cane and pineapple, the statement said.

In particular, Topcon will offer auto-steering systems for agricultural machinery equipped with Global Navigation Satellite Systems, laser sensors for monitoring plant growth and land-leveling systems for optimizing irrigation. This gear will help gauge the possibilities for boosting productivity and reducing costs.

“The locations of demonstration experiments vary from crop to crop, but some of them have already begun.,” the spokesman said.

The Thai government has been promoting smart agriculture as part of an economic growth policy.

Many of Thailand’s agricultural indices – including the ratio of agriculture to gross domestic product, the amount of land available for farming and agriculture employment – are high compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Topcon’a statement says.

But the per-hectare productivity and quality of Thai farm produce remain below those of the neighboring countries, it adds.