ISPA Account

Precision Agriculture in Malaysia

Malaysia has an active precision agriculture (PA) research community, but little commercial use.
“PA has been only implemented in research scale. I do not think there is any report of PA being implemented in commercial scale. I also do not think there is anyone out there that has any report or statistics about this. There is actually no report, even for major oil palm plantations,“ said Prof. Siva Kumar Balasundram, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Department of Agriculture Technology. Prof. Siva is the Malaysia country representative for the ISPA.
This is confirmed by Dr. Hari Krishna of Sime Darby (largest oil palm producer in Malaysia): “Currently quite low adoption mainly due to cost and that most uses are still stuck at R&D phase with difficulty to scale up to commercial phase
There have been numerous efforts to promote PA in Malaysia. For example, in 2017 Space Exploration Asia partnered with Adaptive AgroTech Research Group International, and in collaboration with the Massey University of New Zealand and the New Zealand Center for Precision Agriculture, to develop study tour to New Zealand aimed at showing Malaysian farmers and agribusiness how PA could be used (https://www.precisionag.com/digital-farming/new-zealand-study-tour-demonstrates-recent-advances-in-precision-agriculture/).
Dr. Redmond Shamshiri, formerly of UPM and now with the Agricultural Technology and Bioeconomy Institute (ATB) in Potsdam, Germany, said that precision agriculture research in Malaysia is occurring in universities, government research institutes, large agribusinesses and start up companies. The government agencies doing precision agriculture research include: the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, the Malaysian Palm Oil board, and the Malaysian Cocoa Board. In the 2001-2007 period the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) had a project for precision agriculture in rice, but farm level adoption remains low. A search of Google Scholar for  “Malaysia Precision Agriculture Rice” or “Malaysia Precision Agriculture Oil Palm” reveals many published articles from the Malaysian research.