Fujitsu launches 'agricultural cloud' to analyze data from field sensors

The new service will launch in October using remote field sensors to gather farm data across Japan

Fujitsu said Wednesday it will launch a new cloud-based platform to help modernize Japan's aging farms.

The company said its "Akisai" service will go live in October, combining data from a nationwide network of sensors and cameras in fields that keep track of factors including soil temperature, moisture, rainfall, and humidity. Farmers that use the service will also be able to input crop information through tablets and mobile phones, and will benefit from detailed data on factors such as their profitability per crop and expenses.

Fujitsu said the new service will also be marketed at larger companies such as wholesalers, food processors and restaurant chains to help them monitor the country's complex food supply.

Japan is culturally attached to its image as a farming nation and has long maintained tariffs to protect domestic farmers, but its infrastructure is inefficient compared to countries such as the U.S., with many small contract producers working independently. The resource-poor country is highly dependent on food imports, a situation that is gradually worsening as its farming population ages.

Fujitsu said over 60 percent of Japanese agricultural workers are over 65, and many use only basic calculations to make decisions such as what crops to grow.

The company's new service aims to aggregate current and historical data to keep track of crop yields and growth data, helping farmers make more informed choices. Larger companies that buy the produce will be able to keep track of specific crops in different locations, so they can adjust their purchasing as required.

Fujitsu said it aims to sign up 200,000 customers to the service by March 2016, generating ¥15 billion (US$190 million) in revenue, a small sum for the massive conglomerate. In the fiscal year that ended in March 2012, the company's total revenue came to ¥4.5 trillion.

Still, the company has made its server business and so-called "big data" software suites, aimed at processing huge sets of diverse information, a priority for its growth in the future.

The company said it spent three years researching Japanese farming methods and markets, using cloud computing to aid farmers and food companies, before rolling out the new platform.

The name "Akisai" combines Japanese characters for "autumn" and "colors". Fujitsu said it is meant to evoke the range of different-colored produce gathered during the autumn harvest.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?