Incorporating Manufacturing efficiency in Japanese farms using IT

An article in the Wall Street Journal (January 18, 2011, page B5) describes the head of a Japanese commercial farm who uses information technology to optimize his farm’s output. The article describes the use of sensors to monitor temeprature, soil and moisture. Cameras in the fields and GPS cell phones allow crops to be monitored for infections.  The impact is the increased use of kaizen in the field to optimize the crops to be planted.  As Japan’s farmers age, and imports of produce into Japan increases, such use of technology is expected to permit the tacit knowledge that farmers carry around to be converted to algorithms and procedures to maximize output.  Will technology at this level of use enable Japanese farmers to compete ? Will such technologies become commonplace in developed countries ? Or should agriculture shift locations, just as manufacturing, and move to the most efficient production locations ?

About aviyer2010

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