The Ministry of Agriculture for the Republic of Indonesia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to empower smallholder farmers with technology-oriented solutions that will help them increase income using ground-breaking, cloud-based technologies, machine learning and advanced analytics.
The MoU will help the Ministry of Agriculture and its partners improve information distribution towards greater efficiencies and productivity across the entire supply chain. From building a collaborative platform, capturing agriculture datasets such as crop yields, weather data, market demand and prices, to building machine learning models, the strategic agreement will help transform the agriculture industry to become more data-driven to the benefit of its key stakeholders.
To further strengthen the digital agriculture ecosystem, the plan is to:
- Assist famers transform digitally via collaborative education programs from Microsoft and the Ministry of Agriculture; this includes a skilling portal for farming communities to access the latest knowledge and information throughout the archipelago.
- Use applications and databases to enhance the digital agriculture infrastructure;
- Implement good corporate data governance to develop safe multi-factor authentication to access and share data;
- Establish sustainable infrastructure that would integrate the development of applications, dashboards and reports.
The ecosystem will be developed on FarmBeats, a purpose-built, industry-specific cloud platform built on top of Microsoft Azure to enable actionable insights from data. Azure FarmBeats helps aggregate agricultural data from different sources; fuse different agricultural datasets from sensors, drones & satellites; rapidly develop artificial intelligence and/or machine learning models; and build customized digital agriculture solutions.
Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Minister of Agriculture for the Republic of Indonesia, said, “We must invest in our farmers to ensure national food security and I believe a data-driven agriculture eco-system supported by advanced technology platforms will truly benefit them. Microsoft’s technology platform will be the foundation of our ecosystem that includes other partners, startups and NGOs that would help us transform the lives of Indonesian farmers from Sabang to Merauke. I am looking forward to seeing what a difference this will make!‘’
Haris Izmee, President Director, Microsoft Indonesia, said, “Our mission at Microsoft is to empower Indonesia to achieve more. Together with the Ministry of Agriculture, we are excited to create opportunities, growth, and impact for Indonesia. I believe the intelligent technologies and experiences that we all share, will support the adoption of digital transformation in the agriculture community in Indonesia. We look forward to help millions of Indonesian farmers and agriculture sector to achieve more.”
The adoption of Microsoft Azure FarmBeats is expected to transform the entire agriculture industry in Indonesia, making it more efficient and effective, cutting out waste and intermediaries.
Microsoft’s cloud-scale infrastructure, machine learning, and analytics will analyze millions of records and data points to provide a knowledge graph of related information for better decisions, including establishing fair market prices, identifying bottlenecks, and creating accurate crop planting schedules.