Toyota Made An App For Japanese Rice Farmers

rice farmer 1 photo
Photo: Toyota/edited by autoevolution
Media and stereotypes may have made you think Japan is the world’s largest rice consumer. Truth is they indeed a lot of rice (and ramen) but the biggest rice consuming country is in fact India. They make around 105,000 tons of rice annually now and eat about 97,000 tons, the rest being exported probably.
But then again, India is 3,287,590 square kilometers big and a population of over 1.2 billion, while Japan’s area is 377,944 square kilometers and counts around 127 million souls. This means they don’t have that much space for rice fields and they need to use it wisely.

No worries though, as from now on every Satou and Takahasi will be able to help improving Japan’s rice production using a smartphone and a new app developed by Toyota.

Toyota Motor Corporation will begin this month a large-scale testing of a new cloud-based agricultural IT management tool through the Rice Growers Improvement Network in the Aichi and Ishikawa prefectures of Japan.

Recently in Japan, increasing numbers of small-scale farmers and landowners have been entrusting land cultivation to large-scale agricultural cooperatives. To address the needs of this growing farming model and make it more efficient, Toyota developed the IT tool as a means to organize data gathered from independent field laborers into a central database so that work on scattered, independent rice farms can be better managed.

The app generates and distributes daily coordinated work plans to multiple farmers at different rice fields. As laborers report their progress via smartphone to a central database, administrators can manage the overall cultivation. The tool can also used post-cultivation in the drying and refining phases to gather info such as the rice grain type, cultivation area, fertilization conditions, weather, working hours and drying conditions.
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