Leave a Nest Co., Ltd (Founder and Group CEO: Dr. Yukihiro Maru, Headquarter: Tokyo, Japan) has launched a project for early detection of plant diseases in palm plantations in Malaysia using a made-in-Japan drone equipped with a spectral camera capable of diagnosing plant diseases. This project is supported by a grant from The Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, Japan (* hereinafter “This Grant”).
*Awardees of This Grant is listed in here in Japanese
Malaysia, the world's second largest palm oil-producing country, has palm plantations covering 1/4 of its land. Thus, palm oil production is positioned as an important industry for the country. On the other hand, the average age of farmers is over 55 years old**, and they are facing the lack of future farmers which resulted that 85% of farmers are immigrants***.
In addition, it is predicted that 860,000 hectares**** palm plantations in Malaysia will be lost by 2040 due to plant disease. Even though the plantation field is large, lesion detection relies on the visual diagnosis of farmers. An efficient solution that enables early pathological diagnosis is required.
To solve this issue, we began developing a system to build a drone equipped with a high-performance camera. It can be remotely operated to scan the vast field entirely to detect disease. The system is based on a drone (product name: ACSL-PF2) from ACSL Ltd., the one and only listed drone manufacturer in Japan. We developed our original drone system with ACSL’s high-performance, safe, secure drone, and an ultra-high precision multispectral camera developed by POLAR STAR SPACE Co., Ltd.
In addition, this project will conduct test flights in a palm plantation in Malaysia in collaboration with Aerodyne Group, the world's No. 1 Drone Solution Provider. This project will lead to the synergistic effect that provides young people with a new profession as “drone pilots” who use drones to spray pesticides and diagnose crop diseases all remotely.
We, Leave a Nest, will keep developing projects to solve issues in Southeast Asia by gathering Japanese technologies. The rapidly growing drone field is one of the opportunities for us to pursue the “establishment” of new businesses and markets.
The story and the future of this project will be told in our “Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference” to be held on March 4, 2022, in Tokyo.
Hyper Interdisciplinary Conference in Tokyo 2022
Gathering Multiple Japanese Technologies to Solve Challenges in Asia
– Development of Plant Disease Diagnosis Business with Drone –
Session Partner ACSL Ltd. powered by Manufacturing Research Institute
14:00-14:50 in Japan Time @Main Hall
【News Release (In Japanese)】
** DOS (2017). Time Series Data: National Account. Department of Statistics Malaysia. Putrajaya: Department of Statistics Malaysia.
*** Chu M.M. (August 18, 2020). Pandemic forces Malaysian palm industry to rethink reliance on foreign labour. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-malaysia-palmoil-idUSKCN25E0A4
****Estimating the economic damage and treatment cost of basal stem rot striking the Malaysian oil palms, Forest Policy and Economics. 2020, 116.