Faced with problems such as a decline and aging in its working population and competition from overseas, the agricultural sector is facing an urgent need to further improve productivity and promote higher added value.
The NTT Group provides various ICT-based solutions to help develop more effective and efficient agricultural management.
Representative case study
”Verification Trial on an Innovative Rice Production Management System” conducted with Niigata City, Vegetalia and Water Cell
(Implementation period: May 14, 2015 to March 31, 2016)
Niigata City is a national strategic special zone that has the largest paddy field cultivation area in Japan. For rice farmers who are trying to reform large-scale agriculture in Niigata City, we installed paddy field sensors and a cloud-based paddy field management system linked to these sensors. As well as improving the efficiency of their daily farm land management, this system also allows farmers to use their smartphones to view data that is useful for saving energy, cutting costs, increasing harvest volumes and improving quality.
Connect to sensors
Remote monitoring of data such as water levels through the installation of sensors in paddy fields
The paddy fields of the farmers that participated in the verification trial covered a total of 460 ha. (equivalent to almost 100 Tokyo Domes). We installed 300 sensors throughout these fields to enable the farmers to monitor the conditions in their fields automatically in real time.
Reduced time spent on what is normally the most time-consuming aspect of rice cultivation work: water management
It used to be necessary for data concerning indicators such as water levels and the water temperature to be obtained manually by workers on foot, but such data can now be viewed remotely via a smartphone. This has substantially reduced the labor required for water management, which in turn has made large-scale agricultural management more energy efficient and helped to solve various other problems, such as labor shortages.
Even inexperienced rice farmers can produce high-quality rice
In the past, rice cultivation management depended largely on the experience and judgment of each individual farmer. However, by accumulating data on indicators such as the appropriate water levels for rice growing, we can even help relatively inexperienced producers to perform high-quality cultivation.
Sharing the results of the verification trial throughout Japan
The NTT Group is now considering disseminating the knowhow it has acquired in the course of conducting this experiment throughout the rest of Japan, and intends to continue contributing to the incorporation of ICT into Japanese agriculture.