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Climate change is greatly influencing tropical agriculture, such as shortening growing periods of crops, lower yields, and extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods. With weather conditions becoming more unpredictable than ever, farmers and food-producing companies in the tropical agriculture business are scrambling to find the right Industry 4.0 partners to adapt to climate change with sustainable farming practices.


How to address the multiple problems of durian cultivation, especially the shortage of manual labor, the high sensitivity to environmental conditions, and the lack of procedural rules?


In 2020, agronomists and engineers from MIE Agro Farm Sdn Bhd conducted a series of research and experiments to solve the multifaceted challenges of durian cultivation in Malaysia. Very soon, they found that Seeed’s SenseCAP LoRaWAN IIoT solution stood out as the best option, regarding connectivity function among all other Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies. They recognized that the SenseCAP series is the most suitable for their smart durian cultivation scenario.


MIE Agro Farm Sdn Bhd is a wholly owned subsidiary of MIE Industrial Sdn Bhd, which is the agriculture and aquaculture business arm of the conglomerate.


Agro Farm aims to create well-established IIoT solutions for smart farming and automated farm management, by embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution. Since its foundation, Agro Farm has been actively investing in durian cultivation for its good commercial potential. As a result, Agro Farm successfully established a 200-acre durian plantation in Selangor Fruits Valley, Rawang Town in the Selangor State of Malaysia at the end of 2018. Reportedly, 6,000 durian trees of large-scale durian varieties were planted. value, including Musang King, Blackthorn, and IOI. With the commitment to develop a sustainable and ecologically conscious value chain of durian business, Agro Farm aims at continuous learning of transparent management systems, ranging from paying attention to durian samples and the growth path of durian to monitoring irrigation patterns, pest control, processing, and export.


Agro Farm IoT team headed by Dr. Pui Boon Hean deployed more than 20 SenseCAP LoRaWAN gateways and sensors, to measure and monitor soil moisture and temperature levels, air temperature and humidity, pressure barometric, light intensity, and CO2. The IoT team first installed all the sensors at different locations in the durian plantation, and the sensors are responsible for collecting environmental data. The collected data is then transferred to the SenseCAP Cloud Server via gateways, where the transferred data will be stored and integrated. Subsequently, the integrated data will be displayed on a data platform on the farmers’ smartphones, so that they can check all the necessary environmental conditions in real-time.


As a result of this Project, farm workers and managers have witnessed a drastic decrease in time and natural resources in managing the durian plantation, but to mention the replacement of the manual labor of 2 hours of in-person inspection by the field daily, therefore durians became value-added products. After the implementation of the SenseCAP series, Agro Farm significantly decreased the demand for outside workers and managed to reduce operating costs. Therefore, farmers and farm managers can channel their energy into other aspects, such as plant health inspection. Also, some of Agro Farm’s IoT team members have taken the initiative to create benchmarks of durian cultivation for future reference. Last but not least, the SenseCAP LoRaWAN devices were combined with the deployment of a compact weather station, which not only monitors irrigation periods but also predicts the probability of diseases and pests using chronological data.


Today’s Durian Agricultural Project sheds light on how IoT can enable the digital upscaling of sensitive tropical crops. In this way, tropical fruits can still be grown for us to consume, surviving unfavorable climatic transformations.
Agricultural management, irrigation, data collection, wireless connectivity, iot sensors, data analysis