CASE of Re-connect X 04
Regional Revitalization through
Smart Livestock Farming
Worker Shortage in the Livestock Industry
As populations decline, the aging of livestock farmers and an insufficient future workforce have raised public concern. Also, as the numbers of cattle, pigs,chickens, and other industrial animals, or livestock,per household rise, passing on skills and securing a workforce remain key challenges. And a shortage of veterinarians who maintain livestock health has also emerged as an important issue. Since farms require a significant amount of land, they are often in hilly or mountainous places far from residential areas, so veterinarians may need hours to get there when needed. With globalization, livestock infectious diseases, such as a foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza, are increasingly entering Japan. The responsibilities of industrial veterinarians at the outbreak of such a contagious disease extend from euthanasia to burial, and the importance and burden of their role can only increase.
Promoting Livestock DX to Improve Efficiency and Productivity
NTT Communications has been developing solutions to realize livestock DX, such as remote medical examination and infection diagnosis, to address the shortage of industrial veterinarians and reduce their workload. In December 2019, we conducted a demonstration of a remote medical examination and infection diagnosis through high-resolution, real-time video transmission and wearable cameras in collaboration with Iwate University, located in one of Japan’s leading livestock farming regions. The demonstration confirmed that technical issues had largely been resolved and that remote diagnosis could significantly reduce the workload of industrial veterinarians. Next, we need to establish rules to implement these solutions.
We are also promoting attempts to leverage smart livestock solutions, such as Mobile Gyuonkei and Farmnote Color, in materials used at agricultural high schools to educate future livestock industry workers. Both products apply AI to collect and analyze information on cattle activity to help manage breeding and prevent calving accidents, significantly reducing the operations and labor of farmers. In addition, students exposed to smart livestock farming can experience the future of the industry. NTT Communications is proactively creating opportunities to interact with schools and local communities through online courses and other means toward revitalizing regions through smart livestock farming.
Solution Sales Division
Japanese livestock products, such as wagyu-branded beef, are in high demand overseas and have a promising future. We hope that NTT Communications’ ICT solutions will offer an opportunity to promote the appeal of the livestock business to younger generations and help to overcome the future shortage of livestock farmers and industrial veterinarians.
Solutions and Marketing Sales Division II
Hyogo Prefecture’s feeding technology for Tajima cattle, the origin of Japanese black cattle, is part of traditional culture passed down in the region. So it would be ideal if we were able to protect this tradition while making use of ICT equipment to save labor and accumulate feeding data as part of an innovative succession process in line with the times, which will help address the problem of a successor shortage and position the industry in a more attractive light.
SM Business Promotion Division
While smart livestock farming can save a great deal of labor, it’s people who have to make the final decisions or diagnoses, and I think this is the real value in our work. By helping to disseminate smart and cool livestock farming, I want to give the industry a boost in Japan from the ground up.
Note: The content of this article is as of December 2022