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SqwidNet and ChipFox-SA boost IoT in agriculture

SqwidNet and ChipFox-SA have collaborated to take agricultural internet of things (IoT) to new heights

The value of IoT lies in its inherent ability to connect to physical things to collect data that can be used to inform decision-making. In business, this can be applied across many industries, providing essential information to the business or individual to drive efficiencies and inform their future operations.

Phathizwe Malinga, managing director of SqwidNet, said, “Through IoT, companies can solve industry-specific challenges and manage their assets more effectively. In agriculture, for example, IoT can be applied to monitor soil moisture, air quality, and other related trends which can then be used to improve crop yields. Similarly, it is being used for tracking livestock and wild animals.”

ChipFox-SA has extended the long-standing global partnership with Sigfox to become the go-to solution provider for livestock tracking in South Africa. ChipFox-SA provides a portable electronic device that uses GPS to track location, with multiple battery configurations to provide up to six years of autonomy. The device can also have different enclosures for specific applications such as the monitoring of sheep, goats, cattle, Rhino, and now even birds.

Ben Hoffman, managing director of Chipfox-SA, worked in the wildlife industry as a game ranger for many years. A passion and fascination for birds of prey saw him become a falconer at a young age. He also runs a raptor rehabilitation and research facility in KwaZulu-Natal, where he researches spatial habitat use of birds of prey.

Sigfox technology aims to enable secure and reliable connectivity due to the national network dedicated to IoT. The ecosystem offers enterprises, systems integrators and consumers access to easily use the services provided by the SqwidNet IoT ecosystem, providing them with support, for device, application and service deployment on the network.

ChipFox-SA has deployed similar few projects for several big game reserves tracking eagles, cattle and goats. “This technology allows us to gather far greater insights into animal behaviour and enable us to protect those species that need it most,” Hoffman added.

“We plan to put Sigfox trackers on hawks as well as a few mammal species including buffalo, rhino, cheetahs going forward. We are also involved with the rollout of the first fully IoT monitored Game Reserve in the world,” Hoffman concluded.