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Murata conducting trials using soil monitoring system in Mekong Delta

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2019-01-24  Views: 106
Core Tip: Murata Manufacturing Co, Ltd is promoting measures to address salinity impact to agricultural land by conducting field trials utilising a soil monitoring system that makes it possible to visualise the condition of agricultural land in the Mekong Delta in
Murata Manufacturing Co, Ltd is promoting measures to address salinity impact to agricultural land by conducting field trials utilising a soil monitoring system that makes it possible to visualise the condition of agricultural land in the Mekong Delta in collaboration with Can Tho University, a national university of Vietnam.

The initiative is a part of Studies on Sustainable Soil Uses (hereinafter referred to as the project), based on an agreement between the governments of Japan and Vietnam to provide ODA (official development assistance) in support of measures to address the problem of salinity impact to agricultural land.

Background of the project
Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region is subject to salinity impact from the infiltration of seawater during the dry season as a result of a decline in the volumetric flow rate of the Mekong River and the action of the tides under the impact of climate change driven by global warming.

In addition to salt damage, the environment for agriculture has become harsher than in the past due the increasing severity of droughts and floods.

The Mekong Delta region contains 30 per cent of Vietnam’s farmland and accounts for the majority of its domestic food production, and the damage, which is estimated to run into billions to tens of billions of yen, has become a serious problem.

Murata has been conducting the project since 2017 in collaboration with Can Tho University, which possesses deep knowledge of agricultural and environmental research in the Mekong Delta.

The company is using compact sensor units that draw on its know-how and expertise in the fields of electronic components, circuit design and software design to measure the condition of agricultural land and channel water with high precision.

Combining these observations with independently-developed monitoring tools, the company can visualise and analyse the environmental conditions with a view.

It contributes to the implementation of IT (information technology) in agriculture in the Mekong Delta region by preventing salt damage to rice paddies and orchards, ameliorating salt and sulphur contamination of agricultural land and water channels, and creating a mechanism to comprehensively manage fertilisers, crops and irrigation systems.

Features of the soil monitoring system
The wireless transmitter-receiver system consists of a gateway, a router and several sensor nodes. Each sensor node is made up of a transmitter and three sensor units to measure the soil, field and channel water quality, and the sensing data is accumulated in the cloud.

The main features are as follows:

A compact (approximately 13-cm) sensor unit equipped with three sensors for measuring two types of electrical conductivity, temperature and moisture content
High-precision analysis of conditions utilising a sensor incorporating a uniquely shaped sensor element and a proprietary algorithm
Over a year of continuous operation on three size AA batteries
IP68 dust and water resistance and reliable rustproofing enabling prolonged use in harsh environments

Future outlook
The project began with a three-year plan from 2017 utilising know-how developed in the restoration of agricultural land based on monitoring of the salt content condition of farmland damaged by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.

In addition to Soc Trang and Ca Mau Province, where the monitoring system was initially introduced, the company deployed the system in other four locations in Ben Tre and Kien Giang province in October 2018.

Through joint researches with many research institutions, Murata will continue to make efforts to realise global SDGs by utilising its unique sensing and wireless technologies.
 
 
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