Microsoft brings tech solutions to Indonesian farmers

By Kate Birch
The adoption of Microsoft Azure FarmBeats is expected to transform the entire agriculture industry in Indonesia, making it more efficient and effective...

Indonesia is set to bring technology to the country’s rural farms. And all with a little help from Microsoft

Indonesia’s Ministry of Agriculture has signed a MoU with Microsoft to strengthen the country’s data-driven agriculture ecosystem and thereby empower the country’s smallholder farmers with tech-focused solutions. 

“We must invest in our farmers to ensure national food security,” says Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Minister of Agriculture for the Republic of Indonesia, as well as helping them to increase their incomes. And to help farmers achieve this, “a data-driven agriculture eco-system supported by advanced technology platforms” is needed. 

Microsoft technology, including ground-breaking, cloud-based technologies, machine learning, and advanced analytics will be utilised to improve information distribution towards greater efficiencies and productivity across the entire supply chain.

These technologies “will be the foundation of our ecosystem that includes other partners, startups and NGOs”, according to Limpo, and will “help us transform the lives of Indonesian farmers from Sabang to Merauke”.  

How will the digital agriculture ecosystem work?

From building a collaborative platform and capturing agriculture datasets such as crop yields, weather data, market demand and prices, to building machine learning models, this strategic agreement will help transform the agriculture industry to become more data-driven to the benefit of its key stakeholders.

“I believe the intelligent technologies and experiences that we all share will support the adoption of digital transformation in the agriculture community in Indonesia,” says Haris Izmee, President Director, Microsoft Indonesia. 

To further strengthen the country’s digital agriculture ecosystem, the collaborative plan will:

  • 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.

Microsoft Azure FarmBeats will cut out waste

The ecosystem will be developed on FarmBeats, a purpose-built, industry-specific cloud platform built on top of Microsoft Azure to enable acti onable insights from data. Azure FarmBeats will 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.

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.

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