Agricultural tech transformation in Kenya on the increase
Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom’s partnership with Twiga Foods is enabling a complete precision agriculture IoT system to improve farm productivity at Twiga’s Takuwa farm.
The system includes four different types of agriculture sensors: a comprehensive weather station, soil moisture and temperature probes, borehole water meters, and sensors for measuring irrigation water acidity and salinity. The system takes advantage of Liquid Telecom’s extensive low-power wide area IoT network using 0G Sigfox technology covering 85% of the population in Kenya at lower costs than other technologies.
Commenting on the partnership Adil Youssefi, Liquid Telecom CEO East Africa said, “I am excited about this partnership because, at Liquid Telecom, we strive to be at the forefront of technological innovation that continues to bring positive transformation in many sectors of the society, including Agriculture. Having now deployed our intelligent farming expertise on the Twiga Foods Takuwa Farms through the use of our IoT sensors will increase productivity and efficiency, ultimately contributing to the national Big 4 Agenda.”
These sensors provide critical information to the Twiga agronomy team. The smart weather station provides real time data that helps farm managers deploy the most effective farming methods for irrigation and application of pesticides. Furthermore, the water quality sensors provide specific metrics that help the team to optimize their fertilizer application. Additional data gathered and monitored on a real time basis include temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed.
The soil probes installed at Twiga’s Takuwa farm measures moisture levels and temperature at 6 different depths into the soil, giving precise information of soil quality and irrigation needs at the roots of specific crops. This is set to directly increase yield and productivity and will benefit Twiga’s food security efforts during and beyond COVID-19.
IoT clearly has the potential to dramatically transform agricultural productivity, leading to greater food security and improved farmer incomes in Kenya.
“Increasing business efficiency through digital solutions is one of the main reasons we partnered with Liquid Telecom. By using smart devices, we have automated multiple processes across the farm’s production cycle. For example, the use of soil probes in monitoring the soil moisture in the expansive farm has resulted in an efficient use of water, as irrigation is only done when the soil moisture level is low. I would encourage other farms to also deploy IoT solutions to aid in food security for our country”, said Peter Njonjo, CEO, Twiga Foods.