Press release

2016.2.23

Next Generation Drip Fertigation System, ZeRo.agri Contributes to the Yield Increase and Quality Improvement of Vegetables in Vietnam

-Selected for “Support for Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) Overseas Business Development - Project Feasibility Survey” by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-


 

Routrek Networks, Inc. (Head Office: Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture; President: Shin’ichi Sasaki, hereinafter referred to as “Routrek”) announced today that a “Feasibility Survey for Next-Generation Drip Fertigation System with ICT Technology in the Da Lat Plateau” (Vietnam) proposed by Routrek was selected for “Support for Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Overseas Business Development - Project Feasibility Survey” of Japan International Cooperation Agency (hereinafter referred to as JICA) on January 20, 2016.

Through the selected Project Feasibility Survey, Routrek will be investigating the feasibility of the introduction/dissemination of “ZeRo.agri” in the Da Lat Plateau in collaboration with the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province, the Agriculture and Rural Development Department and the University of Dalat and other partners. In addition, we will be promoting the product in the future through joint projects with local companies, aiming for the quality improvement of agricultural products and revenue increases for greenhouse farmers in Vietnam to contribute to solving challenges in Vietnam.

 


With its cool climate, Da Lat Plateau in southern Vietnam is emerging as Vietnam's best vegetable and flower production area. However, greenhouse cultivation in recent years has faced management challenges such as yield and quality instability caused by individual skills with fertilizer management and salt accumulation in the soil due to excessive fertilization.

(Photo on the left) Greenhouses on the Da Lat Plateau
(Photo on the right) “ZeRo.agri” installed in a greenhouse

(Photo on the left) Greenhouses on the Da Lat Plateau


(Photo on the right) “ZeRo.agri” installed in a greenhouse

The Next Generation Drip Fertigation System utilizing ICT, ZeRo.agri, developed and marketed by Routrek grasps the solar radiation, ground moisture, etc. in the greenhouse through various sensors. Based on this data, the proprietary algorithm calculates the optimal ground moisture in accordance with plants growth and automatically supplies culture solution with the optimal amount of irrigation & fertigation. It enables crops to be maintained continually at appropriate ground moisture levels without causing stress to crops. In contrast to conventional irrigation & fertigation based on unseen underground conditions, ZeRo.agri is able to make the ground-conditions transparent for better control of irrigation & fertigation.

ZeRo.agri has to date been adopted for 13 crop items in eight prefectures in Japan. Many farmers have successfully increased their yield while also assuring quality after the introduction of ZeRo.agri by controlling the culture solution for the optimal amount of irrigation & fertigation. In addition, due to the automatic calculation and supply of the daily amounts of irrigation & fertigation to crops, ZeRo.agri is easier for new farmers to manage and it enables them to expect the same or more crop yields compared to the yields of experienced growers using drip fertigation.

Upon the selection of our proposal, we will be conducting a survey for the introduction/dissemination and the demonstration of cultivation using ZeRo.agri in the Da Lat Plateau. In addition, we will be promoting the product through joint projects with local companies, aiming at the quality improvement of agricultural products and revenue increases for greenhouse farmers in Vietnam. Through these activities, we will contribute to solving common challenges worldwide such as food shortages, aging population, environmental pollution from fertilizer, depletion of water, etc.

[Glossary]

Drip fertigation: Hydroponic cultivation method using soil as a medium. There are two methods: one is providing a culture solution that mixes fertilizer with water through tubes laid on the ground; and the other is providing a culture solution through underground pipes. Drip fertigation leads to stable quality and increased crop yield from the elimination of salt accumulation and the efficient absorption of water and fertilizer by crops.

About the Next Generation Drip Fertigation System ZeRo.agri

Based on the information from various sensors, ZeRo.agri analyzes patterns of water and fertilizer consumption by crops using its proprietary algorithm. Automatic controls through the cloud for the necessary ground moisture in accordance with crop growth enables the elimination of stress on crops and the promotion of crop growth, which leads to increased yield and stable quality as well as labor saving for growers using irrigation & fertigation. In addition, a tablet device can be used to grasp the status of crops and to easily change the amount of culture solution distributed. Therefore, users can use their own experience and hunch as grower as well. A variety of data, amount of culture solution supplied, and photographs taken with the tablet are saved on the cloud, so that they can easily be shared and referenced during the following year’s cultivation.

About “Support for Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) Overseas Business Development - Project Feasibility Survey” by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

The “Support for Japanese Small and Medium Enterprises’ (SMEs) Overseas Business Development - Project Feasibility Survey” is conducted for small and medium enterprises in Japan. Its purpose is to support information gathering/business project planning for utilizing the products and technologies from small and medium enterprises to ODA (Official Development Assistance) projects by matching the needs of developing countries and the superior products and technologies of Japanese SMEs. The Project Feasibility Study started in 2012. The official announcement of Part 2 in fiscal 2015 was made last September and 34 proposals were selected out of 120. After further contract negotiation, surveys will be conducted sequentially from those selected.

About Routrek Networks, Inc.

Routrek Networks, Inc. was established in 2005, aiming to create new markets through the Internet using M2M (Machine to Machine). Following its adoption in 2010 to the Wide-range Cooperation Project of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Food Security and Safety Construction Project using ICT), the company entered the agricultural market. Based on the Big Data accumulated since 2010 on the fields, the company started joint research with Meiji University on the Industry-Academia Collaboration Project of Kawasaki City in early 2012. The company has developed and commercialized ZeRo.agri, the cloud-based Next Generation Drip Fertigation System in 2013.

Inquiries

Miwa Inomata, Marketing Communication and Public Relations
Routrek Networks, Inc.
TEL: 044-819-4711  E-mail: mktg@routrek.co.jp
Link :   http://www.zero-agri.jp/

* Company names, product names and other proper names written in this release are a registered trademark or a trademark of the relevant company.