Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom on Tuesday announced a partnership with Twiga Foods to increase agricultural productivity through precision farming.
The partnership is enabled by Kenya’s rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) network.
Liquid Telecom 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% 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 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.
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,” said Youssefi.
“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 Big 4 Agenda,” added Youssefi.
IoT 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,” said Peter Njonjo, CEO, Twiga Foods.
For example, the use of soil probes in monitoring the soil moisture in the expansive farm has resulted to 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”, added Njonjo.
“Climate change and global warming has brought about unpredictability in terms of weather patterns. Adopting smart agriculture solutions that use IoT will enable farmers gain better information for managing their input costs and increasing their crop yield, thereby encouraging food security in the country.” added Adil Youssefi.
In 2019 Liquid Telecom upgraded the fibre network route from Nairobi to Mombasa offering speeds of up to 9.4 Terabits per second and an implemented capacity of 1.2Tbps for wholesale and enterprise customers.
The increased capacity and on-demand bandwidth will support the company’s IoT network and a range of IoT applications in industries such as logistics and asset tracking, water and electricity utilities, manufacturing and agriculture.