E-Village’ Project Marks New Era in Smart Agriculture in Bangladesh
How Sensor Technology will Promote Better Agriculture Production
Bangladesh is implementing new sensor technology to boost country-wide agriculture production with support from iSoftStone. The E-Village Agriculture Partnership Project uses information and communications technology (ICT). Overall, the project will reduce farming costs and increase agriculture production, marking a new era in smart agriculture.
The nine month pilot project will launch in the Gazipur district of Bangladesh, using low-cost sensor devices. These devices will provide farmers with crop management information regarding soil moisture, leaf wetness, diseases and pest infections. Additionally, farmers will receive real-time crop insights promoting better production.
“The information is first analyzed by our university server and then distributed to the farmers’ devices,” said Project Investigator Hasan. “In addition, we are developing an Android app that will send text and voice messages. For example, a farmer receives real-time information in the morning and can take action on this data throughout the day,” he said. Actions based on real-time information can increase production by 15 to 20 percent and in effect, can equally lower production costs. “Although typically a very expensive device, our target is to make it low-cost” Hasan said. He added that their goal is to keep the price below $100.
iSoftStone Joint Venture with Huawei Technologies
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) is spearheading the ‘E-Village’ project. Meanwhile, iSoftStone Technology Service, an ICT services joint venture with China’s Huawei Technologies, is providing technological support. The Awami League’s research wing, the Center for Research and Information (CRI), will bring the technology into Bangladesh under Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. The initiative is a centerpiece of President Xi Jinping’s economic diplomacy. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on phase I was signed on Jan. 19, 2017 between the organizations.
China continues to invest in large foreign infrastructure projects since commencing the belt and road initiative in 2013. Bangladesh formally joined the initiative during the visit of President Xi in October 2016. Bangladesh leadership sees this as an opportunity to become a middle-income country by 2021, and a developed country by 2041.
Walter Fang, Executive Vice President of iSoftStone, said “We support President Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative. We are here to help Bangladesh prosper and grow”. He added, “We want to expand our collaboration in other areas as well.”
‘E-Village’ Project Impact on Bangladesh Smart Agriculture
Agriculture has been a mainstay of the Bangladeshi economy. As of 2016, it employs 47% of the total labor force and comprises 16% of the country’s GDP. As a result, the performance of this sector has a major impact on macroeconomic objectives. These objectives include job creation, poverty, human resources development, and food security, all of which relate to agriculture.
The E-Village Project leverages iSoftStone’s smart agriculture technology experience, which digitized 38% percent of China’s agriculture information. By using ICT principles, the project will help rural communities achieve food safety and sustainability. It will also help speed up agricultural digitization in Bangladesh.
With regard to future development, Walter Fang said the internet, big data, cloud computing, and AI are the new pillars of economic development. The E-Village Agricultural Partnership Project establishes a win-win opportunity for smart agriculture and other sectors in Bangladesh. Moreover, it provides a strong platform for rapid development of new ICT business models in the areas of digital economy and smart manufacturing. Furthermore, it facilitates the integration and innovation of smart cities, as well as plays an important role in bolstering socio-economic development. Ultimately, iSoftStone will help connect the links around smart agriculture construction, accelerate build-out of ecosystems for smart agriculture, and establish an even more prosperous home for those living in Bangladesh.
Smart Agriculture as part of iSoftStone’s Global Strategy
This in-depth strategic cooperation with Bangladesh is just one part of iSoftStone’s global strategy. The company will continue exporting its innovative technologies, products, and services to developing countries, particularly those along the “One Belt, One Road.” Moreover, iSoftStone plans to share its smart technologies on a global scale, contributing to orderly, diversified, and rational development of digital transformation in the global economy.
iSoftStone, providing technical support for the Bangladesh project, is a global leader in digital city technologies. Based in Beijing, it has developed smart city strategies for over 100 municipalities and has implemented more than 50 related digital solutions.
The organization provides comprehensive end-to-end solutions to governments, industries, and enterprises for livelihood improvement and city innovation.