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Korea introduces smart farm technology to Kuwait

KUWAIT: Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kuwait Chung Byung-ha speaks during the Smart City Forum. – Photos by Yasser Al-Zayyat

By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: The fourth Smart City Forum 2021 was held yesterday, focusing on the smart farming industry this year. Various presentations were made on smart farm project development, smart farm business promotion policy, Korean smart farm technology, digital agriculture and machine, solar power and smart city application cases among others.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kuwait Chung Byung-ha welcomed the guests and said the Embassy of the Republic of Korea has hosted the Smart City Forum since 2017. “Last year, we could not hold it, so this marks the fourth forum. By hosting a series of smart city forums, we have shared Korea’s experiences in planning and building smart cities with Kuwaiti authorities and its people. This is not just a one-way sharing of our knowledge, but a two-way learning process. We are very pleased to continue this meaningful event.”

Today’s session will focus on the ‘smart farm industry’ in the context of smart city development. “We will take stock of the current situation and compare notes about challenges and advancements related to developing smart farms, which I believe is an important component of building smart cities in Kuwait,” Chung added.

The concept of a smart farm is to provide optimized cultivating environments for various crops, which can lead to an improvement in production quality and more efficient management of resources. It should be with the application of cutting-edge technologies such as big data, internet of things (IoT) and so on. “It goes beyond the simple automation of facilities. It minimizes the role played by people and permits farmers to effectively control all aspects of growing their crops. It could be managed by mobile devices equipped with specialized applications,” stressed Chung.

Hamed Al-Shatti, the representative of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, delivers his speech.

Some countries were concerned about a food shortage crisis due to logistical lockdowns during the pandemic – smart farming is one of the most competitive solutions to food security. Smart farming contributes to responding to climate change by reducing the release of methane gas. “It will also result in reducing plant diseases and improving the quality of harvested goods with limited resources. Consequently, it will lead to better income for agricultural households. People can cut the use of pesticides and other resources with accurate data-based management,” he pointed out.

Smart farming involves advanced technologies, following a training process that will give young farmers and engineers a chance to learn the latest technologies. “In Korea, the government is making an effort to foster young agricultural experts so they can rent plots of land for smart farming at reasonable fees and be provided with low-interest loans. I believe it could be a good food for thought for Kuwait,” Chung said.

“I believe the smart farm industry will continue to play a bigger role in the world as the world population grows, coupled with climate changes. Korea has developed experiences in smart farm industry based on its agricultural and ICT technology. I believe that Kuwait and Korea could be good partners in this area,” the ambassador said.

Korea and Kuwait have been working together in designing and developing the concept of innovative smart cities in Kuwait. “We believe that creating a sustainable habitation requires us to take a holistic approach. Smart farming is an essential part of building a smart living environment here. Today, I hope we will be able to share what we know and even what we don’t know with each other. I am absolutely sure that today’s conversations will help us strengthen our cooperation and move us a bit closer to our smarter and brighter future,” concluded Chung.

Hamed Al-Shatti, the representative of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources, noted that the main goals of PAAAFR are the development of the agricultural, animal and fish resources in Kuwait through implementing food security projects to reach self-sufficiency, as well as focusing on production and sustainability of these projects. This in addition to providing the appropriate conditions to finance and invest by utilizing investments opportunities.

PAAAFR is not limited to agricultural projects – it also focuses on numerous environmental projects through the rehabilitation of terrestrial and marine environments by establishing protected areas and taking the initiative to restore native vegetation of areas affected by the Iraqi invasion, he added. “The Public Authority of Agriculture also focuses on forestation and greening urban areas to combat desertification, as well as park establishments aiming to reduce high temperatures, erosion and wind speed to provide ecosystem services to the public,” explained Shatti.


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