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Webinar Series: Internet of Things for Agriculture

March 1, 2018

Washington, D.C.

  • Connecting Farmers to Weather Stations through IoT: Implications of Weather Data in Africa

    Weather forecasts and historical data are utilized daily by businesses and civilians worldwide, but for many developing countries it has been a challenge to develop accurate forecasting models and maintain monitoring networks. By combining the strengths of different stakeholders and bundling the product offering, Kukua Weather Services have found a working model for Sub-Saharan Africa.

    To join this webinar: 

    RSVP Link HERE.              

    Meeting password: iot4ag


  • Ollie Smeenk, Head of Operations at Kukua Weather Services

    Ollie Smeenk

    Head of Operations at Kukua Weather Services

    Ollie Smeenk is Head of Operations at Kukua. He grew up in Tanzania and returned after Studying Business Administration in the Netherlands.

  • IoT Keeps Water Infrastructure Running

    Kathryn Clifton, CRS’S Knowledge Manager for Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), will discuss CRS’s experience using IoT to keep water infrastructure operational in Kenya and Tanzania and its implications for agriculture.  It is difficult, if not impossible to grow recommended crops when water infrastructure fails. Assessments in Rwanda have shown that wells are often broken down 100+ plus days a year.  In remote arid areas of Kenya where CRS was working 200 broken down days was normal.  CRS has used different types of remote monitors in multiple locations across Kenya and Tanzania, in both instances well functionality reached 90% with only 20 breakdown days a year.  The result, second crops can be grown, pastoralists can move livestock to different water points, reducing overgrazing. In the case of Tanzania, where pre-paid water systems were used, the revenue collected significantly increased compared to post-paid systems as we have in most rural areas in developing countries. Both sensor vendors have provided valuable data on water use that have empowered local actors through increased transparency and reduced site visitation transaction costs.  This has enabled improved decision making and fund allocation. Based on this hands-on experience, Kathryn will explain what role CRS played in the process, and how it worked with IoT technology service providers and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits of the technology for the international development.

    The webinar will also invite Dexter Guantlett, Business Development Direct from SweetSense, a social enterprise startup launched by SweetLab, which develops and implements cellular and satellite connected in-situ sensor technologies, and remote sensing methods designed to improve the collection of, and action on, data in global development programs. SweetSense worked with CRS in Kenya, providing the low-cost sensor technology to keep the better track of water infrastructure, improving the region’s water resource management. 

    Taking the Guesswork out of growing: Internet of Things in agriculture

    Ros Harvey will share her practical experience in building her AgTech business, The Yield. The presentation will span the technology, the business models and the operational challenges of delivering solutions to market.  She will discuss her experience in creating public good with private effort in the digital economy. With her strong international development background, Ros is in a unique position, to discuss the opportunities and challenges of digital agriculture in emerging markets.

    IoT and Autonomous Irrigation with Tevatronic

    Tevatronic develops an autonomous irrigation system using tensiometer sensors placed in the ground near the plants. The irrigation system is designed so that the valve switch controller is automated to irrigate the precise amount of water needed by plants for the right duration of time, which is determined by the sensors placed in soil. The system has proven its functionality, saving up to 75% of water and fertilizer and increasing crop yields by up to 25%. 

    Precision Farming: Sensors and Wireless/3G Phone for Smart Irrigation and Fertigation Applications

    Flybird Farm Innovations will introduce its vision to improve agricultural productivity and resources management by promoting precision irrigation and fertigation through the sensors-connected, automated controller. Flybird is a social impact agriculture enterprise focused on improvising the farmer livelihood, improving crop yield and production, saving water and electric power, and integrating affordable technologies for farmers through innovative solutions. It has developed Siri, a smart irrigation controller, which is programmed to manage water and fertilizer with information gathered by soil moisture, temperature, humidity sensors placed on the ground. The company is supported by Chennai-based Villgro, a social impact fund backed by Dell Foundation. 

    Transforming dairy supply chain with SmartMoo IoT Platform

    Data acquisition and recording is the first step towards creating measurable value in any supply chain. While automated, IoT based acquisition ensures Data integrity, the ability to plug-in sensors & applications on the fly ensures agility in catering to different types of agriculture supply chains across geographies. Data synthesis across the agricultural dairy supply chain in emerging markets is one such use-case, where the Stellapps' IoT solution, SmartMoo, can help unlock unprecedented value on a very large scale. Milk is perhaps the largest crop on this planet and there is a crying need for such technology interventions, especially in the emerging markets - where the yield per animal is low, traceability is inadequate and quality is not up to the mark.

    SmartMoo IoT platform can acquire data via sensors that are embedded in milking systems, animal wearables, milk chilling equipment, and milk procurement peripherals, transmitting the same to the SmartMoo Big Data Cloud Service Delivery Platform (SDP) where the SmartMoo suite of applications analyze and crunch the received data before disseminating the analytics & data science outcome to various stakeholders over low-end and smart mobile devices. The patent pending hardware and software is designed to scale horizontally across other industry verticals.

    Transforming Aquaculture with IoT

    Eruvaka Technologies develops connected devices and mobile-based decision tools for affordable monitoring and automation of aquaculture farms. Eruvaka's Smart devices help farmers remotely monitor water quality and feed intake patterns. Also, Eruvaka's artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms precisely dispense the feed based on demand. Using IoT, Eruvaka helps farmers reduce risk and improve productivity by enabling the optimal use of feed and energy, making aquaculture farming sustainable.

    IoT: The Internet of Tractors

    Rapid urbanization, aging farm populations, and depleting rural labor resources pose serious threats to our global food security. As rural labor resources come under continued pressure, tractors are the answer. When available, tractors can work 40x faster and be significantly less expensive than off-farm labor. Most farmers, however, can’t afford to own their own tractors and most tractor service providers operate well below their potential.

    Hello Tractor has developed a solution to address these problems. The company has developed a low-cost monitoring device that when placed on a tractor provides the owner with powerful software and analytics tools to ensure tractors are both profitable and properly cared for. The software connects tractor owners to farmers in need of tractor services – just like Uber for tractors. Hello Tractor also works with financial institutions and technicians to ensure tractor owners have the financing and spare parts needed to grow and protect their fleet. All of this work is being done to ensure that smallholder farmers have the resources they need to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing global agricultural market. 

    ThirdEye: Flying Sensors to Support Farmers’ Decision Making

    ThirdEye is a company initiative by FutureWater and HiView, initially created with the support of USAID in the Securing Water for Food program. ThirdEye’s low-cost Flying Sensors (drones) have cameras which can measure the reflection of near-infrared and visual light. These parameters are used to calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). NDVI values give an indication of crop stress and support management decisions regarding the application of resources such as water, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and manpower. Since near-infrared light is not visible to the human eye, it can provide information on the status of crops about ten days before the human eye can see this. This can be caused by a lack or excess of water, deficiency of fertilizer, pests or abundancy of weeds.

    FutureWater is a research and consulting organization that works throughout the world to combine scientific research with practical solutions for water management. FutureWater works with partners at global, national and local levels in the topics of: water for food, irrigation, water excess, water shortage, climate change, and river basin management.

    Innovation for Horticultural Challenges in Vietnam: Internet of Things for Precision Agriculture

    MimosaTEK presents how their innovation is helping to tackle the horticultural challenges in Vietnam. They share their experiences of deploying IoT technologies in the agricultural market. In addition, their viewpoints about the opportunities and challenges of IoT for agriculture provide insights for the future development in the region.

    MimosaTEK is a Vietnam-based start-up that provides data, decision-support, and remote control capabilities through sensors and cloud platform using IoT technologies. The company is currently helping farmers in Vietnam to apply precision agriculture by IoT technologies to save resources, improve crop yields, and enhance the lives of Vietnamese farmers.

    Gotham Analytics – Connecting those beyond the Reach: Integrating Farmers into Agricultural Supply Chain

    Yogi Sookhu, President and CEO of Gotham Analytics, shares his experience of enabling remote monitoring in various palm oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, by installing sensors and connecting the plantation to network infrastructure. Gotham Analytics is leading business in off-grid markets that require monitoring, machine-to-machine, and consumer communications in areas that are beyond the reach of standard infrastructure, such as reliable cellular and Internet connections. Using satellite connectivity, Gotham offers an off-grid alternative to provide connectivity to remote assets and personnel where existing infrastructure cannot reach.