Tokyo — As of August 28, 2019, Bosch Corporation will enter into a partnership with SoftBank Technology Corporation (hereafter: "SBT") for sale of Plantect, a greenhouse solution from Bosch combining environmental monitoring with AI-driven disease prediction. Plantect will be available on SBT's AGMIRU, an online matching service that allows for easy comparison of agricultural materials, and which is part of the 'Marumie Agri' project initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Through the partnership, the companies aim to promote awareness of ICT products for agricultural materials and support the introduction of smart agriculture.

Partnership with SBT for sale of Plantect on renewed AGMIRU platform
Originally launched in early summer 2017, AGMIRU is an online comparison service for agricultural materials with a registered user base of approximately 4,800 members. It will be relaunched at the end of August 2019 as a portal site to further promote Japanese nature, culture and social interaction through developments in agriculture. This renewal is designed to spur a revolutionary adoption of ICT in agriculture, by utilizing open innovation and data application, and stimulate the growth of agricultural and fishing villages in Japan. It is also designed to promote understanding between consumers and producers through agricultural goods, provide a distribution system whereby producers can have optimum choice of purchase options and deliveries, and to allow for a simple integrated management that covers everything from materials purchasing to production, sales and payment.

Plantect is an agriculture service of Bosch that combines environmental monitoring for greenhouse cultivation with a disease prediction service using AI. Using sensors for measuring temperature, humidity, CO2 and sunlight that the company has originally developed, Plantect makes it possible to visualize the greenhouse environment for all greenhouse crops and predict the risk of tomato disease with 92% accuracy. The company aims to enhance awareness of the benefits offered by smart agriculture and help to make ICT products become increasingly common in agriculture, by launching the online sales of Plantect as a leading ICT solution on AGMIRU.

To commemorate the relaunch of AGMIRU, Bosch will also introduce a special price campaign for customers who purchase Plantect through AGMIRU (limited to 100 units). Details are available on the dedicated AGMIRU Plantect webpage (https://new.agmiru.com/user/plantect).

'Marumie Agri,' a project by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
On November 29, 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries established the "Policy Package for Enhancing Competitiveness of Japan's Agriculture," and the "Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Export Infrastructure Development Program," within the Headquarters on Creating Dynamism through Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Industries and Local Communities. These programs are part of the Ministry's "Plan to Create Dynamism through Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Local Communities" (revised edition). The "Policy Package for Enhancing Competitiveness of Japan's Agriculture" includes creation of three websites collectively referred to as "Marumie Agri," which focuses on enhancing the transparency of three areas: materials, distribution and research. The websites aim to consolidate agricultural research and information, and allows farmers to compare and choose from supplier and purchasers.
Transparency of agricultural materials is carried out by AGMIRU, which is operated by SBT. Details are available from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website.

New payment plan and expansion of disease prediction to create further demand
Since its release in August 2017, Plantect has steadily created demand throughout Japan for greenhouse monitoring services. In April 2019, powdery mildew was added to the type of disease covered by the disease prediction service for tomatoes, in addition to the gray mold and leaf blight prediction previously available. Prediction services for crops such as cucumbers and strawberries are also scheduled to be introduced from September 2, 2019.

In response to customer feedback, a new "as-needed" payment plan was also added in June 2019. After purchasing the basic Plantect set, users are free to subscribe on a monthly basis, allowing them to avoid unnecessary running costs by timing their use of the service to crop seasons.
Through the sales partnership with SBT's AGMIRU, Bosch aims to further drive sales by educating as many producers as possible on the value that ICT products offer for agriculture.

Outreach for the South Korean market: exhibition at K-Farm Expo
In July 2019, Bosch hosted a booth at the K-Farm 2019 "Agriculture is the Key to the Future" expo, which was held at KINTEX in South Korea. Bosch's aim was to provide information about Plantect in preparation for entry into the South Korean market. While Plantect's official expansion into the South Korean market is scheduled for winter 2019, the booth served to provide initial information, with offerings ranging from exhibition of a demo device to information on use of the service in Japan, screening of concept videos, and consultation sessions for potential sales partners.
Interest in smart agriculture is expanding in South Korea. A cumulative total of 1,000 visitors visited the Bosch booth during the exhibition period, evidencing the growing need for superior and efficient data applications in the country.
http://www.bosch-plantect.kr

For more information, please visit official website at http://www.bosch-plantect.jp/index.html.

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