AgriTalk and other notable homegrown startups led by Taiwan Tech Arena (TTA) are now showcasing their innovative solutions at CES 2020.
AgriTalk Tech Inc. was founded by Dr. Wen-Liang Chen, an associate professor at NCTU College of Biological Science and Technology. It integrates biotechnology, IoT, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence to develop a non-toxic agricultural disease and fertilizer regulation system called the “AgriTalk Management Platform.” AgriTalk’s “AgriTalk Management Platform” is capable of regulating factors like diseases, pests, soil fertility, moisture/humidity, temperature, and light exposure.
AgriTalk’s mission is to use technology to solve the current agricultural problems in Taiwan. This mission resonates especially well with Dr. Chen, who comes from a family of farmers in Yunlin. When he was a child, he witnessed the horrifying scene where his father almost died from poisoning while spraying pesticide. This is why non-toxic agriculture became his life’s pursuit.
Another common problem on farms is soil acidification caused by long-term pesticide and fertilizer abuse, which can cause soil fertility and crop yields to decline. Dr. Chen said that long before the establishment of AgriTalk Tech, his R&D team had already separated and developed biological pest inhibitors from 5,000 spider neurotoxins to deal with the soil acidification issue. They can kill specific pests but are harmless to humans and bees.
According to Dr. Chen, the most direct result of farm population migration and aging is labor shortage. Dr. Chen believes that encouraging young people to return home is the solution to this predicament. Taking Nanzhuang as an example, he mentioned the township mayor has been eagerly inviting AgriTalk to set up a local demo site. Since young people understand and identify with technology, it will naturally spark their interest in coming home.
AgriTalk’s automated, non-toxic, and precise fertilization system can reduce labor demand, maintain soil nutrients, and prevent loss of land productivity, which solves the soil acidification problem step by step. Dr. Chen mentioned that the most important thing is to attract investment from businesses and agricultural marketing channels. This is to build a more secure contractual business model for farmers, thereby opening an avenue that is connected to the upper, mid, and downstream, and provides long-term profit for the entire village and even the agriculture industry in Taiwan. This will encourage more young people to come home, and solve the issues of labor shortages and long-term care.
According to Dr. Chen, AgriTalk is actively seeking strategic partnerships to achieve mighty goals and hopes to link all the companies, resources, products, technology, and solutions into a value chain.