Singapore’s SPTel helps farmers go digital

Singapore’s SPTel helps farmers go digital

IoT technology reduces the need for manpower and will be a huge productivity enabler in the agricultural industry.

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Singapore’s SPTel, a joint venture company of ST Engineering and SP Group, has launched an Internet of Things-as-a-Service (IoT-a-a-S) platform, to support the development of next generation urban farms in Singapore.

Beginning with the implementation of IoT-a-a-S with local agritech player AbyFarm, the platform enables fast and scalable deployment of IoT applications that enhance modern food production processes.

“As urban farms become a vital component of Singapore’s 30 by 30 vision, IoT technology will continue to prevail as a core enabler of smart farming in Singapore. Enabling smart urban farms such as Abyfarm to leverage IoT to reduce manpower requirements and improve crop yield will be critical to the long-term success of Singapore’s urban farming programme," said Susan Loh, VP, Marketing and Business Development, SPTel.  

“SPTel’s IoT-a-a-S platform manages the end-to-end IoT deployment so that farmers can focus on their business of providing quality crops instead of having to worry about managing multiple vendors.  The platform is also built on an ‘as-a-service’ model, making the solutions accessible without the need for farmers to make heavy upfront investments to build and maintain their own platforms.”

As urban farms adopt IoT applications in their processes, including monitoring environmental conditions that help them manage crops more efficiently, SPTel said challenges faced include sourcing and identifying appropriate applications, sensors, and technologies. This often results in the use of multiple IoT devices from different vendors, with hefty investments made on multiple platforms. 

Easy deployment and monitoring across multiple sites

SPTel’s IoT-a-a-S platform addresses these challenges with its multi-protocol platform that provides an integrated platform for urban farms to monitor and manage various sensors and applications, regardless of their gateway deployment requirements.

The integrated platform allows urban farms to connect IoT sensors that can transmit data for key variables that affect plant health and growth, such as temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels.

The platform also enables urban farms to connect additional IoT sensors with ease as they expand, allowing the farmer to retain centralised control of all devices and applications on the platform. In addition, through SPTel’s network of secure hubs across the island, urban farms can leverage a ready IoT platform with island-wide reach for fast deployment across multiple sites.

“SPTel's IoT-as-a-service solution for sensor data collection and analysis allows us to track multiple sensors simultaneously. Through this deployment, we are able to become a sustainable self-regulating urban farm with IoT, automation and crop blockchain ledger that enables farm-to-table traceability for improved food safety and security,” said Phoebe Xie, Abyfarm Director and Co-Founder. “AbyFarm is now on the express lane to make smart, sustainable smart farms a reality for Singapore.”

In Singapore, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment has outlined its goal for Singapore to produce 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030. Known as the 30 by 30 strategy, the vision would require a combination of factors, such as adequate spaces for urban farming and an increase in production, which is dependent on the adoption and deployment of technology.  

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