FeedMagazine

Evonik's venture capital unit, BASF Venture Capital and Shenzhen SinoAgri E-Commerce are participating in a Chinese technology start-up that will enable more effective and healthier pig breeding.

  •  SmartAHC develops artificial intelligence-based monitoring devices and software for digitalized pig farming
  • The investment provides insights into innovative agricultural technologies in China, the world's largest market for pork
  • The technology of the start-up company supports the innovation growth field of Sustainable Nutrition
Based in Chengdu and Shanghai, SmartAHC has developed monitoring equipment and software that uses artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to improve farm efficiency and animal welfare. For example, early detection of disease enables farmers to isolate sick animals and prevent the spread of infection.

SmartAHC's technology enables pigs to be identified and located and also provides the means to measure temperature and fertility of the animals. Machine vision software provides information on weight and herd size and enables early detection of diseases. Sensors collect data on feed stock and daily consumption and monitor the farm environment for moisture, temperature and ammonia.

Based on the collected data and using artificial intelligence algorithms, SmartAHC monitoring software platforms provide real-time information via dashboards, statistics and recommendations. Farmers benefit by improving farm efficiency through lower mortality and more efficient feeding.

The world market for pork comprises around 1.4 billion animals per year, with China alone accounting for half of this figure. Over the next decade, China's precision farming market for pigs is expected to grow by more than 20 percent annually as farmers seek to protect their animals from diseases such as African swine fever.

SmartAHC technology can also reduce the risk of zoonoses. These diseases, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, can trigger pandemics. A largely contact-free monitoring of the breeding farm reduces the risk of epidemic spread of such viruses.

Song Lan and Howard Tang launched SmartAHC in 2014, "We look forward to taking another step in the development of our company," said Song Lan, Chief Executive Officer of SmartAHC. "This new investment will serve to increase our research and development capabilities and expand our market presence."
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