Malaysia has identified satellite imagery and artificial intelligence (AI) as promising tools for boosting the effectiveness of its already world-leading palm oil industry sustainability initiatives. An article in FoodNavigator-Asia reported that technology can help the country monitor the health of oil palm crops and optimize crop management among other benefits.

“There is a strong cause to [digitize] our operations,” MPOC Science, Environment and Sustainability Division Director Dr. Ruslan Abdullah told the publication. He confirmed the desire to, “integrate technologies such as big data, AI, IoT and precision agriculture etc. to increase efficiency and traceability in our operations [and] create a better future for the industry as a whole.” IoT stands for Internet of Things. It refers to physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software and other technologies. 

Satellite imagery can be used to assess remote areas and monitor for wildfires, while also confirming that forest cover is being maintained within the country’s firmly established limits. AI can be used to boost oil palm yield. Having every plantation produce as much output as possible means less land will be needed to meet the global palm oil demand.

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