Siam Motors has diversified its business to agriculture, hoping to benefit from the state policy to promote farming innovations under the Agriculture 4.0 policy.
Siam Motors (41%) partnered with Thai Yamaha Motor (34%), Mitsui and Co (15%), and Chartsiri Sophonpanich (10%), president of Bangkok Bank, to set up a new company named Siam Yamaha Motor Robotics (SYMR) and develop a drone — an unmanned aerial vehicle designed to assist farmers in spraying pesticides.
Agriculture 4.0, the government’s industrial economic model, aims to shift traditional agriculture into smart agriculture.
To promote this model, SYMR introduced the “Fazer R” drone helicopter meant to reduce water and insecticide usage as well as eliminate human inefficiencies by utilising precision agriculture technologies.
This method to spray pesticides requires less water for pesticide formulas (only 1.2 litres of water per rai) compared with traditional farming methods that may require up to 80 litres of water per rai, said Piyurach Subharat, the company’s general manager.
The drone has a spraying radius of 3-4 metres, twice that of traditional pesticide spraying practices. A built-in GPS system guides the flying pattern across fields and reduces chances of areas not being sprayed, a problem in traditional methods of pesticide application, said Mr Piyurach.
The helicopter drone can also minimise farmers’ exposure to harmful chemicals, he said.
The company hopes its development will increase efficiency in the agriculture sector and encourage more rapid advancements under Agriculture 4.0.
Mr Piyurach said since Aug 1, a total of 2,000 rai of agricultural land was sprayed by Fazer R with pesticides.
The company’s business plan targets 20,000 rai in area coverage for the rest of the year, he said.
To stimulate demand amid the downturn, SYMR lowered the charge for farmers from 150 baht per rai to 120 baht for the ongoing preliminary period.