KUALA LUMPUR: In line with the growing digitalisation trend driving Agriculture 4.0, Malaysia-based Agarwood plantation company, DAdvance Agarwood Solutions Sdn Bhd (DAAS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) to implement cloud-based digital solutions within the Agarwood sub-industry.
The collaboration also features XTS Technologies Sdn Bhd - a robotics solution and industry automation specialist, that will play a key role in developing the hardware and software to facilitate this initiative.
Agarwood, which is a fragrant dark resinous component of the Aquilaria tree is highly treasured within medicinal, jewellery, fragrance and essential oil segments. Globally the agarwood market trade is estimated to be valued at USD32 billion and expected to double to USD64 billion by the end of 2029 - making Agarwood the world's most valuable plant species.
The partnership aims to increase Malaysia's foothold and economic presence within the Agarwood global market by boosting resin formation in Aquilaria trees to address current market issues.
According to Agarwood, Wild Aquilaria trees generate little to no resin as they need to be infected with fungus to produce resin and thus form Agarwood. With this in mind, industry players began cultivating their own trees and innoculating them with healthy fungi/ mold into the wood, to increase resin generation - to little success.
Looking to address this, David Liew, Founder of DAAS spent a decade of research and developing DATV (DAdvance Agritech Vaccine), their in-house vaccine capable of maximising high-quality Agarwood resin formation as high as 85 per cent per tree.
Now with this partnership, DAAS is looking to leverage on innovative technology through Huawei's expertise to incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G connectivity, and big data into the Agarwood production process to improve precision in the Aquilaria farming and the quality and quantity of resin formation with the aim of increasing resin production to 90 per cent in a harvesting period of 24 months.
"After extensive research, we discovered significant potential in incorporating 5G Technology into our business. As a leading Agarwood producer, we are proud to be amongst the first in the agarwood industry to tap into cutting-edge technologies to better improve our processes and consequently margins," said DAAS founder, David Liew.
Through this collaboration, the parties will be implementing a Precision Agriculture solution at a 150 acre plantation in Temerloh, Pahang.
This comprises intelligent capacitive sensors and hardware for the collection of data in the Aquilaria plantation such as temperature, humidity, climate, soil, water level etc to optimise trees' growth.
This will help DAAS keep track of the plantation process whilst being able to detect patterns that will continue to positively impact the growth process of Agarwood.
In the long run, these technologies are expected to improve efficiency, reduce overall time required and increase production rates resulting in a potential revenue of RM300 million in approximately six years.
The collaboration will also see the development and integration of new traceability systems through the utilisation of unique QR codes. Through the use of QR codes, DAAS will be able to locate products through any stages of operations involved in the manufacture, processing, distribution and handling of Agarwood. Traceability technology is set to facilitate the more accurate detection of nonconformity ensuring higher quality end products.
"We are pleased to work with DAAS and XTS Technologies to elevate the agriculture industry by incorporating cutting edge IoT, 5G and big data technologies. We are confident that these technologies will provide the required data and insights to increase productivity and ensure sustainable growth within the Agarwood sector. This in turn we believe will benefit other agriculture industry players and end consumers as well," said Huawei Cloud & AI Business Group's vice president, Lim Chee Siong.
The partnership is also set to be beneficial for end consumers. The tech will allow consumers to learn about the origins of their Agarwood products including harvest sites, year of planting, types of fertiliser and inoculation vaccine version. Customers also have access to laboratory reports and all associated data input of their products. The greater insight on the material is anticipated to help increase overall value.
"As a robotic solution and industry automation specialist that will play a key role in developing the hardware and software to facilitate this initiative, we are proud to be a part of this collaborative effort in providing our services that will be covering the hardware, software and program algorithm. We hope to bring our 13 years of experience into the Agarwood Industry to establish ourselves as a key player in this industry," said XTS Technologies' founder and managing director, Xteven Teoh.