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Agricultural Internet of Things Has Bright Prospects

Dec 06,2011

By Wang Zhonghong, Research Department of Industrial Economy, & Sheng Chaoxun, Remin University of China

Research Report No 70, 2011

I. Bright Prospects for the Development of Agricultural Internet of Things

1. Internet of things is an effective move for strengthening the quality safety of agricultural products

The quality safety of agricultural products is a hot issue concerned about by the public. Application of the Internet technology can step up supervision over all processes from production of agricultural products all through to the circulation and consumption of the products, improve the traceability system for the safety of agricultural products and ensure the safety of agricultural products. Taking RFID as the main information carrier, the city of Jiangyin has set up the "defect-free meat" traceability safety information platform, thus realizing effective government supervision over such links as cultivation, slaughtering and sales and making every piece of meat defect-free. By making use of such sensors as temperature, humidity, air-sensitivity and illumination, the Huishan Fine Vegetable Park of Wuxi has used its sensor network control system to conduct digitalized control over all processes of vegetable growth to ensure the vegetable production is "environment-friendly and organic".

2. Internet of things is an important support for the development of modern agriculture

Using Internet of things to transform the traditional agriculture can bring about accurate control over the use of farm chemicals, water and fertilizer as well as over animal husbandry and aquaculture, cut down waste, reduce pollution, strengthen epidemic prevention, increase agricultural yield and benefit and realize the efficient and sustainable development of agriculture. The aquaculture smart monitoring system applied by Yixing of Wuxi city can conduct automatic real-time collection and wireless transmission of data and can offer smart treatment, warning and forecast of the data. The system can automatically regulate the water quality of river crab culture ponds, effectively improve the environment for the growth of river crabs, enhance the output and quality of river crabs and reduce the pollution of adjacent water areas. Thus, the net income earned per mu can reach 1,000 yuan. After the use of the smart monitoring system, the chicken farms of the Dongzhong Animal Husbandry of Jiangsu province has realized the automatic and accurate control over such links as feeding, breeding and cleaning, thus reducing the manpower by 35% and increasing the chicken survivals from 93% to more than 98% and the economic benefit by more than 20%.

3. Internet of things is an important means for enhancing agricultural policy-making and command level

Using the Internet of things to monitor the growth of crops, protection of forests, animal husbandry and aquaculture can help to acquire accurate perceptions and make timely feedbacks and is conducive to enhancing policy-making and command levels. In the beginning of the year, the crop seedling monitoring system mounted in Mengcheng and Dingyuan of Anhui province, transmitted the information in time about the growth of wheat seedlings and their suffering from disasters, playing an important role for decision-making in combating droughts and protecting seedlings. By setting up the long-distance forest fire monitoring, emergency, communication and command system and through the long-distance forest fire image monitoring and command system, the city of Nanjing has realized the networked long-distance monitoring of forest fires and is in a position to conduct multi-level control and sharing of videos and pictures that is convenient for making consultations and on-the-spot countermeasures.

4. The Internet of things can bring benefit to farmers

Applying the Internet of things to the agricultural sector can also turn farmers into modern agricultural workers locally and increase farmers' income. By virtue of the Internet of things, Linkage Technology Co. Ltd. of Nanjing, by setting up the organic vegetable bases and the quality traceability system, has realized the distribution of organic agricultural products "from fields to kitchens", bringing benefit to farmers of organic vegetable bases. Not only has labor intensity reduced, but farmers' income has increased considerably. A male worker can earn 60 yuan per day while a female 50 yuan each day. Linkage Technology Co. Ltd. plans to spend 5 years' time building itself into the largest enterprise of Internet of things of organic agriculture in the Yangtze River Delta area to help 10,000 farmers to realize employment locally.

II. Explorations and Practices Conducted by Provinces of Jiangsu and Anhui in Applying Agricultural Internet of Things

Relevant surveys indicate that some regions have attached great importance to the agricultural Internet of things and are eager to develop the Internet. Quite a number of government officials in charge said that the time has come for the application of the agricultural Internet of things. More and more enterprises have taken the Internet techniques as an important means for improving their economic benefit and competitiveness. Some enterprises are paying close attention to arranging the industries of agricultural Internet of things. In general, with the joint efforts made by the government, enterprises and institutions of scientific research, great progress has been made in R&D and exemplary application of the Internet techniques. When conditions are ripe for the development of the Internet of things, the successful results will be achieved.

1. Local governments have paid close attention and given intensified support

In light of the state policy towards the agricultural Internet of things, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces have attached great importance to strengthening planning and guidance, policy support and fund input. In the Outline of Jiangsu for the Development of Industries of Internet of Things (2009~1012) promulgated in April 2010, Jiangsu has noted that the provincial agricultural commission shall be responsible for the demonstration projects of smart agriculture and emphasis should be laid on developing the platforms for popularizing the Internet of things as well as platforms for agricultural services, management and long-distance monitoring. It has been put forward in the Circular of the General Office of the Jiangsu Provincial Government on Implementing the Agricultural Information All-coverage Project that special funds should be arranged for "accelerating the application of sensor, communication and computer technologies in agriculture". Anhui province has also put the agricultural Internet of things in an important position, constantly strengthened their understanding of the roles of agricultural Internet of things, actively started various kinds of demonstration activities and given play to the roles of the Internet of things in developing modern agriculture.  

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