Fujitsu Ltd. plans to introduce a "cloud service" for farmers that won't give them more rain, but may help improve harvests.
The service, called "Akisai," will allow farmers to manage production in an optimal manner by using comprehensive data on the status of crops. Akisai will be available starting in October for farmers and agricultural corporations.
In a Fujitsu demonstration in Miyazaki Prefecture last year, a farmer with about 10 workers reported a 30 percent increase in the output of cabbage compared with a year earlier when they did not use the service.
Fujitsu expects veteran farmers intending to expand the size of their operations by hiring many young, inexperienced workers to be potential customers.
With Akisai, data on daily temperature, rainfall, humidity, amount of sunlight and other variables is collected by a device containing sensors placed in the fields. The device then transmits the data to the company’s data center for processing.
Workers in the fields send images of crop plants and details of their work to the data center through their smartphones.
Farmers are able to get an accurate picture of the status of production from the data center and then give detailed instructions to workers on the optimal times for thinning, fertilizing and harvesting.
With the service, Fujitsu said individual farmers will be able to manage the production of wider areas than before because they do not need to go out in the fields as often as they used to due to the availability of the comprehensive data.
For a farm employing four workers, the service will be available for 40,000 yen ($504) a month.
Apart from this, Fujitsu also charges about 1 million yen for the sensor device and installation.
Fujitsu expects to generate about 15 billion yen in sales for the service between October 2012 and March 2016.
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