Another Smart Technology For Farmers


2013-06-11 13.48.10The smart farming technology is spreading like wildfire, with at least 570 Kenyan farmers already benefiting from the initiative of Taita Ngetich, Damaris Karanja, Alice Kamau, and Brian Bett of Greenhouse structures are one of the methods used mainly for hydroponics and Kenyans are about to change the game of greenhouse farming.

Kenya that has been recently making headlines by winning second place in the Global Innovation through Science and Technology competition, has developed solar-powered sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, soil moisture, water supply and much more in greenhouse structures through Synnefa Green Ltd.

The monitoring includes opening and closing the irrigation system as well as querying to get SMS alerts on their current greenhouse statuses-in terms of temperature, humidity and soil moisture. Should the farmer happen to delay more than 30 minutes without responding to the first SMS, the gadget will automatically start irrigating the crops until the moisture content is restored. It is designed to ensure maximum utilization of the land under cover while maintaining the seed capital at an affordable limit to a majority of farmers.

Although the device is a bit expansive to subsistence/small-holder farmers, plans are underway to fabricate the devices in China, the automated sensor will be retailing for as low as Ksh 15,000 making it affordable to them. Farmers pay Ksh 2,300 as installation charges.

Sýnnefa Green Ltd/ also offers besides constructing greenhouses, other services such as soil tests, pre-site surveys, sensor technology, drip irrigation, and shade nets.

8142701968_1969f5289e_bKenyans have been applauded by the US President, Barak Obama during his press conference last week for such initiatives. He alluded that the government’s ‘Feed the Future’ initiative that seeks to enhance optimal agriculture. Kenyans should take full advantage of this initiative by tapping into it to construct greenhouses that actually feed the future through strong yields and surely Kenyan farmers are set to cut farming expenses following the launch of a remote monitored greenhouse.

Other African countries should start such initiatives to help with food security, the initiative is not only less time consuming, but is also marketable to rural communities where electricity is still a serious issue.