Chinese farmers signed a contract with Alibaba for a more innovative pig farm monitoring
Chinese farmers nowadays are having a hard time to monitor their pigs due to overpopulation in their farms. Pigs usually live and die in huge farms. So, to help manage this porcine horde, the country’s farmers are turning to artificial intelligence or AI.
Chinese tech giant Alibaba signed a deal with pig farming corporation Dekon Group and pig feed manufacturer Tequ Group. It is to develop and deploy Ai-powered pig-tracking systems. Reported by Synced, a Chinese outlet, this deal is worth tens of millions of dollars. Instead of using wireless radio frequency tags (RFID), it will primarily rely on machine vision.
RFID is somehow helpful but it’s a bit expensive and not to mention time-consuming to manage. They have to be fitted to each pig and scanned individually for tracking. Tequ Group’s chief information officer, Zhang Haifeng said, “If you have 10 million pigs to raise, you can barely count how many piglets were born on a daily basis when the due date comes.”
The best solution is to use machine vision technology. It can help to track pigs using the overhead cameras that identify numbers tattooed onto their bodies. This system will be able to count pigs and piglets. But Alibaba hopes it will also offer more sophisticated analysis.
These sophisticated analysis includes combining temperature readings from infrared sensors with records of how much pig is moving each day. The AI will help to monitor the pig’s health individually. But a cleverer tool is a “voice” recognition tool. This may alert farmers when piglets are being crushed by their mothers by listening to their squeals. This will decrease the death rate of piglets by three percent annually according to Alibaba. Another one, it will try to monitor the spread of disease by recording the sounds of pigs coughing.
This technology will bring more income to farmers and will also provide the nation more agricultural products in the future.