Wednesday, May 22, 2024
27 C
Brunei Town

Thai agri startups boosted platform

BANGKOK (ANN/THE NATION) – Thailand boasts 81 agricultural startups, but fewer than 15 specialise in deep technology. The agri-tech industry has seen investments surpassing THB1.7 trillion. 

This year, the NIA is advancing agricultural startups through its AGROWTH project. 

It invites startups utilising deep technology in agriculture to apply, aiming to develop products or services, conduct real-world testing, and adapt business models to agricultural sector needs. 

Kritphaka Bunfueang, NIA director, notes that Thai agricultural startups have secured about THB2.5 billion from domestic and foreign investors.

Though relatively modest, this amount indicates a slow and steady growth.

There are three deep technology trends worth noting that can serve as a guideline for future Thai startups.

Using large-scale agricultural data for forecasting and creating new standards can help optimise water and fertiliser usage, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. PHOTO: ANN/THE NATION

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Using large-scale agricultural data for forecasting and creating new standards can help optimise water and fertiliser usage, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This technology is expected to grow to around THB1.55 trillion by 2028.

Several Thai agricultural startups have won investment in this technology and one such startup is Easy Rice, which uses AI systems to inspect rice variety and grain quality. It has used AI in assessing more than 6 million tonnes of rice so far, and its usage is expanding to rice growers in neighbouring countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.

This has helped Easy Rice raise more than THB66 million in investment from companies such as AI and Robotics Ventures Co, Ltd (ARV), Yip In Tsoi & Jacks Co Ltd, and Innospace (Thailand) Ltd.

ROBOTS AND AUTOMATION

The shortage of labour has driven the demand for robotics and automation in agriculture to boost efficiency and reduce the use of chemicals, resulting in cost reduction and an increase in productivity. For instance, using drones to spray pesticides and fertilisers replaces manual labour, saving a lot of money.

Startups in agricultural robotics that have attracted government and private-sector support as well as investments from key investors and firms, include HG Robotics.

This company develops robots and automated management systems and has attracted investment from True Digital Group. It is the first Thai company to meet global standards in the production of agricultural drones and robotics.

HG Robotics has also produced “Tiger Drone”, an autonomous flight software in the Thai language to ensure secure and accurate data collection.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

The need to protect the environment and food safety has made advanced biotechnology a much-needed tool in agriculture and for addressing various challenges. For instance, it can prove to be very efficient in combating pests, drought and creating new plant varieties. The global investment value of agricultural startups applying biotechnology is estimated at THB85.80 billion.

Thai agricultural startups have capitalised on this technology segment, such as UniFAHS with its SalmoGuard, which destroys Salmonella bacteria in the digestive systems of poultry, thus replacing antibiotics and chemicals.

With more than 15 years’ experience in Phage technology, which targets specific bacteria, UniFAHS is working to address problems in the poultry farming industry, both in Thailand and overseas.

The company won the BioTech Innovation Award at the world’s largest startup competition, Global Finalists 2022, and is now expanding into aquaculture with up to THB53 million in investment from ADB Ventures, Innospace (Thailand) Limited, and Innovation One Fund.

spot_img

Latest

spot_img