Fujitsu announced yesterday that it will be launching “Akisai,” a cloud-based platform to improve management of Japan’s food and agriculture industries, this October. The company says it has spent three years researching Japanese farming practices and markets before developing the new platform.
The SaaS-based agricultural production management solution will provide comprehensive management tools for administration, production and sales. Farmers will be able to collect, store and analyze data about on-farm operations, crop plantings and yields via mobile and tablet devices. Combining these records with historical records, as well as external sensor, weather and map data, Fujitsu aims to help farmers improve operations, earnings and efficiencies. Additionally, Fujitsu will offer innovation support services.
In the future, Fujitsu will also offer services to food processors, wholesalers, retailers and restaurants, allowing them to leverage this centrally managed data to manage orders and quality control with their producers.
Why is Fujitsu getting into the food and agriculture business?
Japan sees increasing revenue in the agricultural industry as key to overcoming challenges facing the country with regards to food security, local economic development and job creation. Yet, its current agricultural infrastructure is outdated and inefficient. Over 60 of Japanese agricultural workers are over the age of 65, and many do not calculate production costs and revenue on a per crop basis. In the future, however, farmers will to need start focusing on profitability, which will mean making more informed decisions about what crops to grow, say Fujitsu.
The company aims to sign up 200,000 customers to the service and generate 15 billion yen (US$190 million) in revenue by 2015.