Dr Abd Jamil Zakaria is no ordinary farmer. After years spent searching for ways to improve farming, he tells IZWAN ISMAIL that precision agriculture is the way to go. DR Abd Jamil Zakaria knows the challenges and pains of being a farmer. The principal researcher at Mardi grows crops such as tomato and melon at the research centre’s green houses in Serdang, Selangor.
Although what he grows are for research purposes, the valuable information he has gathered can be used to improve farming. He regularly meets up with farmers around the country to listen to their problems.
Precision agriculture technology is made up of components such as the micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors, GSM network, agriculture management systems and green houses for the close environment farming. Abd Jamil says he has been using the MEMS sensors for a while.
These sensors allow farmers to collect in-field data, including temperature, humidity, soil moisture, pH level and macronutrients.
“So far the sensors have been delivering the much-needed information and we’ve managed to give crops the nutrients required in the correct amount,” says Abd Jamil. With non-automated sensors, farmers have to go to the field and collect the data at the sensor, which is still labour intensive.
“But automated sensors allow the farmers to sit at home or in the office and retrieve the information using computers, laptops or mobile phones.
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