Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom has partnered with Twiga Foods to increase agricultural productivity through precision farming.
This partnership is opening up a new world of opportunities, enabled by Kenya’s rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) network, Liquid Telecom says.
In a statement on Tuesday, Liquid Telecom said it has deployed 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 percent of the population in Kenya at lower costs than other technologies.
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 optimise their fertiliser 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 measure moisture levels and temperature at six 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.Liquid Telecom chief executive officer East Africa, Adil Youssefi, 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, [we] will increase productivity and efficiency, ultimately contributing to the national Big 4 Agenda.”
IoT clearly has the potential to 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,” chief executive officer of Twiga Foods, Peter Njonjo said.
“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.”