It may have been billed as a contest between man and machine. But two opposing teams in a smart agriculture competition that pit data scientists against traditional growers have since gone into business together, combining their respective expertise to help other smallholder farmers.
Yanjiutian, an all-women strawberry cultivation company, met Zhiduomei, a precision agriculture team, at the inaugural Smart Agriculture Competition co-organized by Pinduoduo last year. The teams competed to see who can grow more strawberries, with the technology teams producing 196% more fruit on average versus the traditional teams.
“Precision agriculture is very beneficial if it can be applied to improve traditional farming methods,” said Sun Yuqing, a member of the Yanjiutian team, one of the top strawberry growers in the province of Anhui.