On the 18th June, Nedap signed two contracts in South Korea relating to automation in animal husbandry. This occurred in the presence of His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange and the Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Ms. M.H. Schultz van Haegen. Firstly, a contract was signed with the Korean ‘Agriculture IT Convergence Support Center’ (AITCSC); the project group within South Korea’s national government programme that encourages automated solutions for the livestock sector. The contract includes a memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining the intent that Nedap solutions for the automation of animal husbandry, such as pig feeding stations for group housing of sows (Nedap Velos ESF), are included in this national government programme. The second contract was signed with the ‘Youngsin Farm’ sow farm. Both agreements were signed during a trade dinner which was organised as part of a Dutch economic trade mission led by Minister Schultz van Haegen in South Korea. In these projects Nedap will collaborate with its Korean business partner Farm Innovation Co. Ltd.
Agriculture IT Convergence Support Center (AITCSC)
In South Korea there is high awareness of the need for and great interest in automated systems in animal husbandry. In 2011 the AITCSC was established, as the benefits of what IT and automation can bring to the Korean livestock industry were not yet fully exploited. The initiative is part of a larger government programme which is funded by the Korean ‘Ministry of Knowledge Economy’, and which has the objective to encourage both IT and automation within various commercial sectors in Korea. The work of the AITCSC is managed and executed from the ‘Sunchon National University’. The reasons for the establishment of the AITCSC include the following:
- To increase the income of livestock farmers, who are a large group among the Korean population. The margins/revenues within this industry are under pressure. To create long-term opportunities, the options for generating higher incomes are currently being reviewed.
- Fewer people now wish to work in the agricultural sector and as a result the labour costs are rising fast. The application of IT and automated systems should enable an increase in more efficient production (fewer staff, higher effectiveness per employee).
- To involve local Korean IT companies. Korea’s largest telecommunications company, Korea Telecom, is also participating.
The Netherlands is considered as one of the global leaders regarding automation in animal husbandry. Through collaboration with Dutch companies, AITCSC recognises the potential opportunities and the prospects of generating higher incomes for Korean farmers. AITCSC has chosen to work together with Nedap due to their innovative and comprehensive portfolio of automated solutions for livestock farming, where a healthy balance between work, revenue and welfare plays a significant role. In the coming period the Dutch government, Wageningen University and other Dutch companies will become involved in this initiative.
Youngsin Farm is a family business located in Chiunan in the province of Chungnan. The company is headed by Mr. Yoon, who has accumulated over 30 years of experience in the sow farming sector. Previously, the Youngsin Farm had a herd of 200 sows. However, in January 2011 the farm was hit by foot-and-mouth disease and all animals had to be slaughtered. The owner has created a new start to relaunch his company in preparation for the future and to develop good prospects for his son, who will soon take over the running of the business. Mr. Yoon has decided to use group housing with pig feeding stations to facilitate an extensive herd of 500 sows in his new barn. This is in the context of animal welfare and because the owner expects that the Korean government will make group housing of sows obligatory within a few years. Youngsin Farm opted for Nedap pig feeding stations (Nedap Velos ESF). They chose Nedap because it is currently the market leader in South Korea and because the system’s reliability and sustainable solutions have already been proven to be successful choice on several Korean companies. The peaceful environment and good conditions that the animals experience with this system were also decisive factors considered by Mr. Yoon when choosing Nedap Velos ESF.
More information about Nedap Agri and Nedap Velos: