Precision Application Asia Conference Sets Advisory Board to Help Analyze Disruptive Technologies

Earlier this year scientists revealed the first-ever image captured of a black hole. Thought to be impossible, the feat required the collaboration of more than 350 astronomers over several years, and their efforts recently earned them the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and $3 million that comes with it.


How was it done? The scientists on the project have responded that there was no single monumental breakthrough. Instead, a series of incremental innovations and advances in imaging technology, computing power, data storage, and networking created a breakthrough that couldn’t have occurred just a few years ago.

A Stanford physicist told Popular Science magazine that the accomplishment was “a tribute to the hard work by the team and 50 years of ingenuity by radio astronomers before them honing the craft of interferometry.”

The same convergence of technologies driving advances in astrophysics is on the cusp of revolutionizing other industries, too, including agriculture. GPS, imaging, machine learning, data storage, and connectivity are shortening the lifecycle of innovation and making adoption more feasible for distributor/service companies and growers at every scale and crop.


For more than 30 years, adoption of high-tech agriculture and advanced digital farming has been lamentably relegated to about 20% of farmers in advanced agriculture economies like the U.S. Fortunately, about 89% of retailers/service providers offer some sort of precision agriculture service, according to PrecisionAg Global’s annual survey on the state of U.S. adoption.

While adoption in emerging economies might lag the U.S., there is no doubt that the proliferation of technologies and adoption is accelerating as a result of its access and affordability. Many developing markets will leapfrog into next-generation technologies, in some cases more quickly than developed economies that are burdened by expensive infrastructure or debt incurred from the latest iteration of software or machinery.

This amalgamation of technology at a crucial point in time and the potential to leapfrog technologies are critical reasons we are organizing the Precision Application Asia Conference. We’re creating a forum to discuss how this convergence is impacting agriculture inputs, service providers, agronomic advice, and the creation of new businesses and service channels.

How will we distill such wide-ranging technologies and applications? We have experts for that: The Precision Application Asia Conference Advisory Board is a multidisciplinary group with unique perspectives and expertise on precision agriculture.

Meet our steering committee:

Michael Gomes is Vice President of Business Development IoT at Topcon, a geopositioning pioneer that provides solutions for every season, crop, terrain, and vehicle. He works extensively in Asia-Pacific with distributors and service providers to implement technologies that serve large-area and smallholder farmers.

CS Liew is Managing Director of Pacific Agriscience, an importer and reseller of agriculture inputs throughout ASEAN. His Singapore-based business identifies production and consumption trends, and looks for investment opportunities in emerging agriculture-based businesses around the world.

Jason Mann, President and CEO of AgraCity Crop & Nutrition, is a crop production specialist who services growers in Saskatchewan, Canada. He provides digital farming platforms, crop protection products, and drone spraying services through his proprietary drone platforms.

Dr. Felix Thurwachter is Managing Director of Jebagro, a trading company that specializes in tailored business solutions for retailers of crop protection products. He is spearheading digital farming initiatives in Myanmar, where drone application technology is growing rapidly.

Paul Voutier is Director of Knowledge and Innovation for Grow Asia, an NGO established by the World Economic Forum and the ASEAN Secretariat. He leads various business initiatives in ASEAN to promote scalable value chain creation and agronomic decision support for smallholder farmers.

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