Fujitsu at Agro-Innovation Japan 2014

Agro-Innovation Japan 2014 was held in Tokyo from November 12 to November 14, 2014 and Fujitsu was among the companies participating in the exhibition.

Fujitsu’s vision for agriculture in the future

Agro-Innovation is an agricultural exhibition held for farmers and other people engaged in a wide range of industries. A wide range of exhibits are displayed at the exhibition, including technologies and services used in agricultural production, processing, distribution, and sales.
Every year, professionals who are working to develop agriculture for the future, visit the exhibition to gather new knowledge on up-to-date production techniques and to experience low-cost, high-quality logistics technologies and services.

At this exhibition, Fujitsu proposed a new form of agriculture, created using our Akisai Food and Agriculture Cloud in cooperation with customers.

A model of a facility called the Food and Agriculture Open Innovation Center was on display, demonstrating a vision for agriculture in the future. This vision connects all of the players involved in agriculture through Fujitsu's Food and Agriculture Cloud Akisai. The model represents a new initiative for revitalizing local economies, from the production and marketing of agricultural products to joint development of products in the research and education sectors, along with collaboration with local governments.

There were three disticnt areas around the central model: the Agri-CEO Office, the Agri-CTO Office, and the agricultural business outsourcing area.

Strategic use of ICT by agricultural business managers: the Agri-CEO Office

We start with the Agri-CEO Office, which was designed to help agricultural business managers achieve effective management through the use of ICT.

The CEO Office was created to introduce visitors to the most advanced agricultural business management practices. A range of information was displayed via Akisai on the four monitors in the CEO Office. The demonstration started with an example of supply-demand adjustment; a customer ordered a shipment of 3 tons of lettuce 10 days ahead of schedule. The key point is how quickly you can determine whether it is possible to ship out the lettuce. The instructor checked the cultivation plans for each individual field to select the fields that were capable of meeting the need; then, the growth of the vegetables was checked through real-time on-site monitoring, so as to adjust the schedule appropriately. The instructor then gathered all the necessary information without leaving the CEO Office, promptly making decisions and putting the decisions into action.

Akisai's Schedule Management Screen Displays Plans and Data for Individual Fields

Use of ICT by cultivation technicians: the Agri-CTO Office

Performing a Simulation

The Agri-CTO Office was designed to introduce visitors to Fujitsu's services for ensuring product quality (quantity and quality) as well as for on-deadline delivery for customers. The demonstration showed how cultivation technicians spend their day. Staff work around the clock to intensively monitor environmental conditions and the growth of crops in greenhouses in areas all across Japan. The monitoring is done via Akisai. The demonstration started with a customer's request to move up the schedule for a shipment of tomatoes that was originally scheduled to be shipped out in three weeks. The instructor first reviewed what measures were needed to control the growth of the tomatoes. As he entered sample data on the growth of the vegetables (number of leaves, sizes, thickness of stems, etc.), along with the shipment deadline (by when) and the customer's requirements (increasing the sugar content and making fruit grow large), the system simulated the most appropriate timing that met the requirements.

Technicians also remotely monitor growth-environment changes around the clock. During the demonstration, abnormal temperatures were displayed on the monitor. The staff solved the problem by using accumulated data, identifying the cause of the trouble and its location in the greenhouse, and solving the problem through remote control.

Agriculture business outsourcing model

In the agriculture business outsourcing model area, a demonstration was performed to show an infrastructure outsourcing model designed around a data center. Using portable model greenhouses, Fujitsu staff demonstrated how four farms sharing these greenhouses owned by Akisai Agri Co., Ltd. (temporary company name) produce different crops. The environmental control system was connected to the same three sensors used by customers to monitor temperature, humidity, and solar radiation. Based on the sensor information, the staff kept the greenhouse environment at an optimal condition by opening and closing skylights and curtains to adjust to sudden changes in the weather and temperature.

Up to now, companies have faced many difficulties starting up in greenhouse horticulture, due to the high costs involved in the management of facilities. Switching from owning to sharing greenhouses reduces expenses in facility investment, personnel costs, and daily facility management, making it possible to focus on production.

Conclusion

The series of demonstrations at the Fujitsu Booth lasted for about 40 minutes. Many visitors eagerly listened right through to the end, a great representation of the tremendous interest shown for Fujitsu’s vision of agriculture in the future.