Advancing Agriculture in Malaysia: UTM’s ASEAN-IVO Project Utilizing Cutting-Edge Technology

Kuala Lumpur, January 17 – ASEAN IVO is an ICT Virtual Organization of ASEAN Institutes, and NICT is a global alliance of ICT R&D institutes and universities in the ASEAN region and Japan. In a pioneering move towards agricultural innovation, the NICT ASEAN-IVO PJ2022 Project on Agricultural IoT based on Edge Computing reached a significant milestone during its second meeting held in Malaysia from January 15th to 17th, 2024, hosted by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and led by Ts. Dr. Norulhusna Ahmad and team. The project, which involves collaborative efforts from three participating institutions in Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia, aims to revolutionize farming practices by integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing technologies. The project involves active involvement from prominent institutions, each contributing expertise to various aspects of the ambitious initiative.
The initial meeting in 2022 in Halong Bay, Vietnam, established the groundwork for the project’s progress. The recent gathering in Kuala Lumpur witnessed substantial accomplishments. The event, spanning two days, featured various activities aimed at showcasing the advancements made in the project. The first day of the meeting involved visiting the project collaborating farm in Banting, Selangor, where participants witnessed the implementation of the Plant Disease detector system and IoT-based smart fertilizer system. The use of cutting-edge technology in agriculture was illustrated, including the deployment of drones to detect plant diseases. With 15 representatives from each participating country – Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and a representative from NICT, Japan – the meeting served as a platform to discuss the project’s progress and plan for its future. The collaborative effort seeks to address agricultural challenges in the region and improve farming practices through technological innovation.
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The knowledge sharing meeting among team members occurred on January 16th, 2024, at the Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. In this session, each representative delivered a presentation based on the progress of each WPs. The meeting served as a platform to present research results, discuss remaining tasks, and prepare for a potential project period extension. Participants engaged in productive discussions to ensure the project’s continued success and positive impact on the agricultural landscape in the ASEAN region.
The NICT ASEAN-IVO Project’s dedication to leveraging technology for sustainable agriculture marks a significant step towards addressing food security challenges in the region. As the project progresses, it promises to transform traditional farming methods and foster a new era of smart and efficient agriculture. The NICT ASEAN-IVO Project is structured around three key work packages (WPs), each targeting a specific aspect of agricultural enhancement: developing and optimizing edge computing solutions, designing the security framework and solution, and establishing the pollinating system and plant disease predictor. The significant contributors and responsibilities are as follows:
  • PTIT team (Vietnam) – PTIT takes the lead in the project, spearheading the development of edge computing capabilities and assuming responsibility for the entire project. Within the framework of Work Packages (WP), PTIT is actively engaged in designing and optimizing edge computing solutions (WP 1), developing security solutions (WP 2), and providing support for the development of pollinating solutions (WP 3).
  • VNU-UET team (Vietnam) – VNU-UET plays a crucial role in translating technological advancements into practical agricultural applications in Vietnam. With a focus on bridging technology and practice, VNU-UET contributes to developing an IoT monitoring system with drones and edge computing capabilities, supports security solutions, and is actively involved in developing the pollinating system and plant disease predictor.
  • UTM team (Malaysia) – Specializing in IoT monitoring expertise, UTM contributes significantly to developing the IoT monitoring system. Additionally, UTM supports developing the pollinating system and the plant disease predictor, showcasing the team’s dedication to enhancing agricultural practices through innovative technology.
  • NECTEC team (Thailand) – NECTEC brings valuable expertise to the project by supporting the development of security solutions. The team’s role ensures the robustness and security of the implemented technologies in the agricultural IoT system.
  • NICT team (Japan) – NICT is pivotal in fostering international collaboration within the project. The team supports developing security solutions, contributing to the collective effort to advance agricultural practices through cutting-edge technology.
The collaborative efforts of these diverse teams, including PTIT, VNU-UET, UTM, NECTEC, and NICT, underscore the global commitment to advancing agricultural practices through cutting-edge technology. With each team contributing specialized skills, the project aims to address farming efficiency, security, and disease prevention challenges. As the project progresses, the teams are set to continue their collaboration, sharing knowledge and innovations to enhance agriculture through integrating IoT and edge computing technologies. The recent meeting in Malaysia was pivotal in showcasing progress, discussing future plans, and strengthening the bonds between the participating nations in this groundbreaking endeavor.
Authors: Ir. Dr. Hazilah Mad Kaidi and Ts. Dr Norulhusna Ahmad
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