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iconBig Data for Natural Rubber [   November  2018 ]


At present, it is inevitable to ignore that digital technology plays a significant role in the development of the country. Many of us would be familiar with the terms ‘Thailand 4.0’, ‘digital economy’ or ‘Digital Thailand’. Over the past few months, organizations such as the Office of Agricultural Economics and Bank of Thailand, to name a few, convened meetings and seminars to discuss new digital technology. These events imply the current scenario in which the world is driven by data, resulting in necessity of all stakeholders in rubber industry to rely on and make use of vast data known as ‘big data’ in making plans and strategies, tracking information as well as analysing for new opportunities in rubber agriculture, industry and trade.

Big data refers to data sets that are too large or complex for traditional data-processing application software to adequately deal with. Among examples of big data are sensor network, social network, social data, Internet of things, search engine indexing, images, videos, mass e-commerce, etc. Big data allows more robots and artificial intelligence to play a more active role. In utilizing big data, we can no longer rely on intuition or personal experiences to make decisions. Big data is helpful to associate data in the process of data analytics in 4 systematic manners: 1) to explain why something happens; 2) use statistical data to analyse how something could happen in the past; 3) to predict possibility in the future in order to analyse opportunities and risks; and 4) to come up with a variety of choices and results. Among these manners, the last type is the most related to big data. Big data collection provides benefits for both small and big enterprises as it is always accessible. We can make real-time predictions and decisions. This process may address the on-going challenges that the country is facing and has yet to find the solutions. Therefore, it enhances opportunity for economic and social development of the country.

In the realm of natural rubber, big data is highly important to smart farming and industry sector. It builds a data network which connects the entire supply chain of natural rubber from upstream to downstream sector. Big data for natural rubber includes farmer registration, location and size of plantation, production, exports, prices, consumption demand, market conditions as well as government policy, etc. Among sectors involved are farmers and farmer groups, cooperatives, entrepreneurs, and public and private sectors. Big data for natural rubber is an important approach to determining good agricultural practices, to enhance productivity by increasing yield per hectare with lower cost of production in limited areas, as well as to improve quality of rubber raw material and rubber products. This attempt would entail the increase in rubber price and enhance competitive advantage of Thailand over other rubber producing countries. In addition, big data may also address the issue of sustainability, the matter that is a global concern. However, there are certain issues that require caution, namely data ownership, privacy and security.

The Thai Rubber Association recognizes the importance and urgent need of building a big data system in rubber industry and hopes that big data would be one of the approaches to addressing rubber price issue and contribute to the sustainable development of rubber industry.

Mr. Chaiyos Sincharoenkul


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