Madgrow Tech, a local agriculture technology company, is ready to help farmers realise the government’s vision to increase paddy yield and meet national rice sustainability target.

The proprietor of Brunei’s only farmbot — an intelligent robotic farming system — wants to employ the drone mapping technology to enable paddy farmers to analyse land viability and closely monitor health of their crop.

“We’re the first in Brunei to use this technology to help farmers. We’ve also created a [pocket-sized] ‘M5Stack’ device which can help them gather data they need such as moisture levels and soil pH value,” Madgrow Tech Managing Director Wanzzy Hijazi said.

Referring to His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s recent titah addressing the need to tackle challenges in paddy output, Wanzzy pointed out that this technology may be of help.

He explained that drone mapping will eliminate resource wastage by identifying whether land is suitable for farming prior to clearing and planting. His user-friendly pocket device helps farmers track progress of their crops, ensuring the best output. “We offer smart solutions,” he said.

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According to the tech entrepreneur, the main issue with rice paddy farming is that traditionally, farmers will clear their land only to find out later that it isn’t suitable for farming. This is where his drone mapping technology is useful.

 

The Smart Growbox system allows busy homeowners to grow their own crops with minimal input. Photo: Hadthiah Hazair/ The Scoop

One of Madgrow Tech’s vision is to decrease reliance on food importation by providing solutions for growers to increase yield quality and quantity.

Currently, Malaysia has already started paddy growing with the aid of drones, he said. The system will essentially present farmers the information needed to plan better, he said. “Failure to plan is planning to fail,” he added. Drones can also allow farmers to monitor crop conditions by air and quickly identify problems that would not have otherwise been apparent during ground-level checks.

“When we first started the business, it was very hard to penetrate the market even though we try to make it cheaper and more affordable… but now, Alhamdulillah, it’s getting better. We do a lot of research and development to try find feasible ways for our farmers to be successful.”

Since establishing presence last year, Wanzzy has managed to secure a few clients , including tailoring a cheaper and more effective system for a crayfish farming company.

Asides drone mapping, Wanzzy also offers smart solutions such as DIY  (do-it-yourself) hydroponic boxes, greenhouses, aquaculture ponds and the farmbot system. Recently, he has launched a Smartgrow Box system for the consumer market, catering to individuals who want to grow plants at home for self consumption with prices ranging from as low as $40.

The Smart Growbox package includes everything needed to start growing your own crops at home, and allows the owner to simply leave the plants to grow by themselves with minimum input.