Genting Plantations invests in AI to boost its agtech capabilities

MALAYSIAN planters have come to realisation that agriculture technology (agtech) is capable of improving long-term yield, efficiency and profitability.

Genting Plantations Bhd (GENP) has become one of the latest palm oil industry players to extend its agtech foothold following a revelation by Adatos Pte Ltd, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven remote sensing analysis for agriculture and carbon markets, that it has closed an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round by the former.

This latest round will enable Adatos to grow its business across palm oil and other agriculture verticals while deepening its capabilities within carbon measurement.

Adatos applies advanced AI to complex satellite data-sets to provide operational and strategic insights for agriculture and the fast growing multi-trillion dollar carbon markets.

Sustainably increasing agricultural production and addressing climate change are two major 21st century challenges encountered by the agriculture sector.

GENP has worked with Adatos for over three years and is excited by the value this technology brings to sustainably increase the productivity of GENP’s operations.

“As our group embarks on the use of precision agriculture in pursuit of operational excellence, our investment in Adatos and the deployment of its cutting-edge AI will place GENP at the forefront of the Agricultural Technology revolution,” commented GENP’s CEO Tan Kong Han.

Adatos’ CEO Jonathan Paul said the company is proud to apply its AI technology to create valuable data driven insights that can result in higher crop yields, more efficient fertiliser usage and better tracking of pest and disease.

“Carbon markets also benefit through the use of remote sensing to speed up and radically lower the cost of carbon measurement in natural forests and peat soils,” he pointed out. “We use open source satellite data to provide tailored, high impact and low-cost analysis to our clients across agriculture and carbon markets.”

Paul Santos, managing partner of early stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners, said Adatos was one of the first Southeast Asian agtech companies covering both AI and remote sensing technology that it had invested in.

“Since our investment in 2016, they have demonstrated profitable use cases for advanced AI from agriculture to sustainability. We are excited about Adatos applying AI to nature-based solutions with significant potential in carbon markets,” added Santos.

At 10.48am, GENP was unchanged at RM7 with 89,400 shares traded, thus valuing the company at RM6.28 bil. – Sept 15, 2021

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