Realizing Climate Smart Rice Farming with Industry 4.0 Smart Devices and Fertilizers


The following good practice is conducted by Thanh My Nguyen. The case study was selected and presented in Mekong Knowledge and Learning Fair (IFAD) by representative from Vietnam.

Background

Rynan Technologies Vietnam JSC. and Rynan Smart Fertilizers JSC. are high-tech startup companies, which were established in 2016. We are located in Longduc Industrial Park, Travinh City, Travinh Province, Vietnam.

Our mission is to empower the farmers with the industry 4.0 smart devices, cloud computing services and smart agricultural input materials for realizing climate smart agriculture.

Innovations / Good Practices

For the past two years, Rynan Technologies Vietnam JSC. have successfully developed, manufactured and commercialized numerous of the industry 4.0 smart devices, mobile applications, and computer Software as a Services with different models and version for climate smart rice farming practice. These smart devices are:

  1. Smart river water monitoring buoys: These smart devices measure and upload the salinity, pH, temperature and tidal levels of water in the rivers in real-time to the internet via GPRS connection. The water quality information can be viewed by farmers by using mobile devices (i.e., smart phones and tablets) with our mobile application “Mekong App” or by using desktop computers with our Software as a Service “Mekong SaaS” in Vietnamese and English.
  2. Smart water level sensors: These smart devices were specially designed for Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) irrigation practice to reduce the water consumption and greenhouse gases emission in the smart rice cultivation. They upload the water levels in real-time to the internet. Farmers can view the water levels in their rice paddies using mobile devices and Mekong App.
  3. Smart water pumps: These smart devices are parts of the AWD irrigation system, which can be remotely turned on and off with mobile devices and the Mekong App or desktop computer with the Mekong SaaS. They can also be triggered by the signals from the smart water level sensors to pump water in and out the rice paddy fields at the desired water levels to maximize the efficiency of the AWD irrigation practice.
  4. Smart water meters: These smart devices upload to the internet in real-time with precisely the amount of water pumping in and out the rice paddy fields. They help to turn on and off the smart water pumps automatically after reaching the desired water levels in the rice fields.
  5. Mekong App and Mekong SaaS: They are in Vietnamese and English, which can be downloaded free of charge from the App Stores for use with mobile devices and desktop computers with iOS and Android operation systems.
  6. Smart industrial inkjet coding systems: These systems consist of the internet of jet-printers (IOJ) and high-speed barcode verifying cameras. They are designed to print encrypted variable barcodes on agricultural products for track and trace, anti-counterfeiting and logistic purposes directly with information from the big data via GPRS protocol. These encrypted variable barcodes can later be used for verification using mobile devices and Mekong App.

Rynan Smart Fertilizers JSC. have successfully developed, manufactured and commercialized smart fertilizers, eco-friendly chitosan-based pesticides. We have also produced and commercialized the rice seeding and rice transplanting machines to simultaneously burying smart fertilizers and spraying the eco-pesticides during seeding and rice transplanting. These smart products are:

  1. Smart fertilizers: These smart materials, which are in the granular forms, comprise minerals (i.e., N, P, K and micronutrients), organic nutrients (i.e., humate and polyphenols), plant hormones and microbes, which can release to the soil in the controlled manners. They can be sown to the rice paddies only one time per harvest season instead of four times with the conventional fertilizers. Our smart fertilizers help to reduce up to 50% costs of fertigation, pesticides, greenhouse gases emission and labour as well as increase the rice yields and profits for farmers up to 20%.
  2. Chitosan Based Pesticides: These eco-friendly pesticides can be used to control pathogenic microorganisms including bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and some helminthes.
  3. Smart rice seeding and transplanting machines: These rice-seeding machines are designed to increase the efficiency for use of smart fertilizers. They are integrated with the smart fertilizer applicators and bio-pesticide sprayers. They can apply seeds, bury smart fertilizers and spray bio-pesticides for 7 hectares per day. We also modify the commercial available Yanmar rice transplanting machines to integrate with the fertilizer applicators and bio-pesticide sprayers. These modified rice transplant machines can transplant the rice plants, bury smart fertilizers and spray bio-pesticides for 4 hectares per day.
  4. Smart rice farming services: In order to apply the industry 4.0 smart devices and materials to rice cultivation, we offer two smart rice farming service programs to the rice farmers. In the first service program, we lease the rice lands from the rice farmers and pay partial or full in advance with a fair market price. Then, we do all the farming and managing works. We would harvest the rice and then sell to the rice processing companies to recover our costs. In the second service program, we do farming contract for the rice farmers on their rice paddies using our technologies. The farmers pay us for doing farming works. They manage and harvest the rice by themselves.

Impact

In the past two years, we have been doing many rice farming trials, which covered several hundred hectare of rice paddies in Dongthap, Travinh and other provinces in the Mekong Delta. With our industry 4.0 smart technologies, rice farmers can reduce up to 75% rice seeds, 50% nitrogen fertilizers, 30% water needs, 50% pesticide, 50% labor costs, 40% greenhouse gases emission and greatly the effects of saltwater intrusion. The rice farmers can earn over 20% more due to higher rice yields and lower farming costs. They also have more time to work on different jobs with better and more stable incomes.

We also installed 7 smart water monitoring buoys in Travinh. Several thousand farmers are benefits from the information

Facilitating Factors / Challenges

We need strong support and subsidy from the local government for adopting the smart technologies to rice farming.

Lessons Learned

 

We are now facing severely shortage of labor for rice farming in Travinh, Dongthap and other provinces in the Mekong Delta. Rice farmers are older and fewer. They are very reluctance to adopt new technologies due to lacking of knowledge and funds. However, with our smart rice farming service programs to guaranty the incomes for the rice farmers, they are very cooperative for using our smart technologies to their rice paddies.

Recommendations

We wish that IFAD and other funding agencies will support us to raise enough financial resources to bring our industry 4.0 smart devices and smart input materials to many rice farmers as possible.

 

 


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