PETALING JAYA: Maxis Bhd has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) to collaborate and co-develop agricultural and agrifood-based solutions.

Both parties will leverage each other’s capabilities to integrate engineering as well as information and communications technology (ICT) in projects for a sustainable and competitive agricultural industry.

As a pilot, both parties will work on precision farming for ginger at Mardi’s facilities across the country using automated systems to utilise fertigation with drip fertilisers, big data analytics as well as surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The pilot aims to roll out the technology to more than 400 ginger agroprenuers to enhance efficiency and equip Mardi with useful data on how to use technology in addressing food security challenges.

Over the next two years, both parties will work on projects including capacity-building programmes, research, seminars, conferences and pilot studies on smart agricultural solutions.

In 2019, both parties collaborated on advanced technological solutions powered by Maxis’ NB-IoT to help increase yields, resource efficiency and quality of grape farming produced at the MARDI Agro Park in Langkawi, Kedah, enabling farmers to remotely monitor their crop conditions through mobile apps. The partnership was one of the nation’s then 5G demonstration projects.

Mardi director general Datuk Dr Mohamad Zabawi Abdul Ghani said, “Our partnership with Maxis is timely as we look forward to the modernisation of agricultural practices through the implementation of new approaches based on modern technology and sustainable development, in line with the IR4.0 and Sustainable Development Goals 2030,” he said.

Maxis acting chief enterprise business officer Claire Featherstone said the potential to modernise the agricultural sector is immense and Maxis is excited to collaborate with Mardi to develop and co-pilot smart solutions through IoT applications and higher bandwidth to assist with everyday farming practices.