Logo

IBM’s remote water management tool for farmers

Water research scientists at IBM Research - Africa have designed a water management solution for farmers who are often away from their farms

Irrigation - feraugustodesign - pixabayThe tool aims to help farm owners living in cities keep track of their farms remotely. (Image source: feraugustodesign/pixabay)

The solution, named Ez-Farm, is aimed at tech-savvy farm owners who live in cities and hire managers to look after their farms in rural areas. These farm owners usually travel to their farms only over weekends and keep track of developments remotely by telephoning frequently. Such farm owners have been nicknamed ‘telephone farmers’.

“With growing demand and soaring prices for fruits, vegetables and flowers in Kenya in recent years, the number of entrepreneurs investing in small-scale farming in the country has boomed. Many of these are tech-savvy business people living in urban areas who can only travel to visit their out of town farms at the weekends and that is how we came up with this idea,” said water research scientist at IBM Research - Africa Dr Kala Fleming.

Fleming and her colleagues at IBM Research - Africa are trying to introduce a technological solution to help these telephone farmers better manage the water resources needed to irrigate and grow crops on small-scale.

Using big data technologies, the system will deliver insight into current and predicted water and soil moisture levels to farmers and water service providers via apps on smartphones and tablets.

Fleming explained that in the future, the sensors could also transmit data about the performance and possible failure of water pumps and other irrigation equipment. At a later stage, the developers plan to link up with Kenya’s meteorological service to include rainfall patterns and predictions into an eventual app.

The tool, which is still in its pilot stage, will ultimately also help farmers tell the root course of challenges like a poor harvest or crops failure at a farm. The researchers have set up a number of pilots on farms around Nairobi from where sensors stream data to IBM’s cloud based data centres every minute of the day about the availability of water for crops. The test farms are currently equipped with water tank and soil moisture sensors. There is also another sensor that uses infrared light to monitor the health of crops.

Talking about the motivation behind the project, IBM Research - Africa V-P Dr Kamal Bhattacharya said, “Kenya has 15mn small scale farmers who contribute hugely to the country’s GDP but we are still investing on food security.”


LATEST NEWS IN Water & Irrigation

Rivulis opens new factory in Manzares

Rivulis opens new factory in Manzares

Rivulis, a global leader in micro irrigation solutions, has announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art factory in Manzanares, Spain

Irrigating Africa optimally

Irrigating Africa optimally

Progressive farmers have begun to adopt modern techniques such as precision irrigation that do not rely on rain. In an exclusive interview with Tulana Nayak from African Farming, Elad Levi,...

FAO backs management of empty pesticide packaging in West Africa

FAO backs management of empty pesticide …

The GCP/INT/147/GEF Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and coordinated by FAO, has targeted Senegal’s Missirah to manage existing packaging and put in place a mechanism for sustainable...

Critical to pair tree-planting drives with water-wise technologies: Dake Rechsand

Critical to pair tree-planting drives wi…

In the backdrop of increasing tree-planting drives across the MENA region, Dake Rechsand, a company that specialises in sustainable solutions for water conservation and desert farming, has stressed the need...

Boosting commercialisation of water stress management solutions for field crops

Boosting commercialisation of water stre…

Agri-biotech company Elicit Plant closed its financing round to accelerate the development of its water stress management solution in agriculture, with support from the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)

Rivulis offers free crop monitoring and irrigation detection service to its customer growers

Rivulis offers free crop monitoring and …

Rivulis, a global innovator micro-irrigation solutions innovator, has provided a free service to its customer growers for monitoring crops and detecting irrigation issues with satellite imagery

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Water & Irrigation

EU supports water development projects in Sudan

EU supports water development projects i…

Jean-Michel DUMOND, head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Sudan, has confirmed the EU’s commitment to support better access to drinking water for the Sudanese population

An agricultural flocculant improves water management in drip irrigation

An agricultural flocculant improves wate…

As natural resource, water is increasingly becoming more precious, especially in agriculture. Improving water usage efficiency in irrigated systems is an important objective

World Bank provides US$200mn to strengthen irrigation in Logone River Valley

World Bank provides US$200mn to strength…

The World Bank has approved a credit on 30 November 2021 from the International Development Association (IDA) in the amount of US$200mn to support Cameroon’s agricultural production in the Valley of Logone,...

World Bank provides US$200mn to strengthen irrigation services in the Logone River Valley

World Bank provides US$200mn to strength…

The World Bank has approved a US$200mn credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to support Cameroon’s agricultural production in the Valley of Logone, located in the Far North region...

Boosting commercialisation of water stress management solutions for field crops

Boosting commercialisation of water stre…

Agri-biotech company Elicit Plant closed its financing round to accelerate the development of its water stress management solution in agriculture, with support from the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)

Water availability crucial factor for assessing African investment opportunities

Water availability crucial factor for as…

Foreign investors engaged in biofuel and food crop production should assess opportunities for foreign agricultural investment in terms of water availability, according to Tim Williams from the International Water Management...

Nokia launches smart agriculture-as-a-service in Algeria

Nokia launches smart agriculture-as-a-se…

In partnership with Algeria’s mobile network operator Djezzy, Nokia has set up a Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) to equip farmers with practical data and help them achieve better yields

Water Ways Technologies signs two irrigation projects in Ethiopia

Water Ways Technologies signs two irriga…

Water Ways Technologies Inc (WWT) has signed two new irrigation projects in Ethiopia

World Bank approves US$350mn water and sanitation project in Tanzania

World Bank approves US$350mn water and s…

More than three million Tanzanians in rural areas will be connected to safe water supply, while another four million people will gain access to improved sanitation through World Bank’s new...

Algerian minister Kadi outlines agriculture policy

Algerian minister Kadi outlines agricult…

Algerian government minister Abdelkader Kadi has this week outlined the country’s agriculture policy

TİKA builds modern agricultural infrastructure in Kenya

TİKA builds modern agricultural infrastr…

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has built a drilling well and established agricultural land infrastructure in the Wajir-Eldas region of Kenya to provide access to water for people of...

Prev Next

Template Design © Joomla Templates | GavickPro. All rights reserved.