Bayer Crop Science, a global pioneer in digital farming and precision agriculture, will partner with Pinduoduo for its annual Smart Agriculture Competition.
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Pinduoduo on this competition and contribute with our capabilities in the areas of disease prediction, crop protection and vegetable seed business,” said Alfonso Alba, Country Division Head for Bayer Crop Science in Greater China.
To be held from August 2021 to March 2022, teams from around the globe will take part in the Smart Agriculture Competition to develop “one-click planting” models for growing tomatoes, using nutrition science, algorithms, sensor technology and intelligent greenhouses. The objective is to boost the yield and nutritional content of tomatoes while ensuring the process is cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.
As China’s largest agriculture platform, Pinduoduo spearheaded the creation of the Smart Agriculture Competition as a way to gather the top minds in agronomy and computer science to develop technology that can help smallholder farmers and spur agricultural modernization.
Pinduoduo is organizing the competition together with the China Agricultural University and Zhejiang University. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Wageningen University & Research are serving as technical advisers.
“Through the Smart Agriculture Competition, we hope to interest more young scientific talent in agriculture so that they can apply their talents to helping farmers,” said Andre Zhu, Senior Vice President at Pinduoduo. “Helping farmers to grow better not only helps people to eat better, but also has a positive impact on the environment.”
In last year’s Smart Agriculture Competition, teams of data scientists were pitted against traditional growers to see who can produce more strawberries. The technology teams won with 196% more fruit by weight on average. They also outperformed in terms of profitability of investment.
The tomato was chosen for this year’s competition. A flowering plant of the nightshade family, the tomato is grown all over the world for its edible fruits and is a good source of vitamin C and lycopene.
For the competition, Bayer Crop Science will provide the seeds of the Delisher cherry plum tomato for cultivation. The company will also offer its crop protection expertise and digital solutions such as greenhouse monitoring and disease prediction.