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Nokia: Revolutionize farming via digitization to curb crop losses in PH

Adoption of digitalized solutions for farming will help the country’s agricultural industry stand a chance against low crop production caused by climate shocks, Nokia Philippines’ leader said.

“Digitalization empowers Filipino farmers to make informed decisions, optimize resource utilization, and enhance productivity, which ultimately leads to increased output and a more resilient food system,” Head of Philippines Carlos Reyes told PhilSTAR Tech in an email interview.  

Reyes said that smart farming can help optimize resources through IoT-enabled agriculture solutions that allow data-driven irrigation, pest control, fertilization, and waste minimization.

Meanwhile, AI-powered crop monitoring tools can also help in the early detection of diseases and nutrient deficiencies.

The Philippine agricultural sector endured another contraction for the second time this year due to typhoons and higher input costs, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

“Digitalized farming can play a pivotal role in reversing the decline in agricultural output and revitalizing the Philippines’ agricultural industry,” Reyes said.

Global technology brands like Nokia have ventured into the use of AI-powered tools and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices to promote technology-enabled solutions in farming.

For one, its “Smart Agriculture-as-a-Service” includes its IoT platform which enables farmers to gather real-time data from the installed sensors in their fields. These sensors provide soil moisture, temperature, and nutrient levels details. 

Farmers can also see if their crops have been infested by pests through Nokia’s AI-powered technology that captures images from drones and satellites that help identify and track crop health. 

Moreover, Nokia’s 5G technology allows farmers to connect their farm machinery to the internet for remote monitoring, tractor-controlling, and harvesting. 

Reyes said that this automation enhances “operational efficiency, improves safety” and overall maximizes their resources. 

Balancing tradition and the future of farming

Aside from Filipino farmers struggling to adapt to new technologies, there is a challenge in keeping traditional farming practices in the Philippines. 

Indigenous farmers in charge of taking care of biodiversity hotspots are overlooked as they struggle to gain higher profits and access to markets. 

With the entry of digitalization in farming, Reyes asserted that Nokia believes that it should not “replace” traditional knowledge and cultural value,” but rather compliment or enhance them. 

“We recognize the deep-rooted knowledge and experience that traditional farmers possess, and we aim to empower them with the tools to leverage this knowledge in the digital age,” he said. 

Furthermore, the agricultural industry is also struggling to raise the next generation of Filipino farmers as more youth are opting for more digitally-inclined careers or for employment abroad.

Reyes said that Nokia’s solutions can help “reverse” this trend as they hope to appeal to younger Filipinos. 

“By demonstrating the transformative potential of digitalization in agriculture, we aim to make farming a more attractive and rewarding profession for the younger generation.”