ISPA Account

Advancements in Precision Agriculture: A Look at Japan's Current Landscape

By Japan's ISPA Country Representative, Dr. Eiji Morimoto (morimoto@gold.kobe-u.ac.jp)

Eiji Morimoto Lab MembersIn a stride towards modernizing agriculture, Japan is actively pursuing precision farming initiatives. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) has taken the lead in fostering the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Through subsidies extended to agricultural machinery manufacturers and start-ups, MAFF aims to address challenges in cultivation management and promote automation with IoT.

Kobe University stands at the forefront of this technological revolution, steering its focus towards farmer-centric precision agriculture. Embracing the philosophy of on-farm experimentation, the university is making significant strides in 
Real Rime 2nd Fertilizer Application
the development of cutting-edge technologies. These include advancements in collecting field information through soil and growth sensors, coupled with mapping and analysis technologies tailored for a diverse range of crops – from rice paddies to orchard.

In a collaborative effort, Morimoto laboratory has joined forces with start-up leaders such as Agrist, recipient of the CES 2023 Innovation Award-winning sweet pepper harvesting robot, as well as renowned domestic manufacturers like Kubota, Iseki, and Topcon. This collaboration aims to seamlessly integrate innovative technologies into mainstream agricultural practices.
 Point Cloud Data Collection System in Peer Orchard Using Quadruped Robot
Beyond mere robotization, Kobe University envisions the creation of a connected world where a field information layer, finely attuned to the nuances of agriculture, can provide valuable feedback to producers. This strategic alliance between academia, start-ups, and established manufacturers is propelling Japan towards a future where precision agriculture becomes a cornerstone of sustainable and efficient farming practices.