The Korea World Bank Partnership Facility financed a pilot to apply Internet of Things (IoT) technology to address some of the challenges farmers face when applying AWD. Tra Vinh University implemented the pilot. MimosaTEK, a Vietnamese start-up, developed the technology. This is how it works: A sensor measures the water level in the rice field and sends the information to the cloud-based management software. The farmer can monitor the actual and the recommended water levels on a smartphone application, which helps him determine the best time to irrigate the rice and the optimal amount of water to apply. He can operate the water pump through the mobile phone application or manually. In addition to the prerequisites for AWD mentioned above, IoT AWD requires mobile or internet connectivity, electricity, and access to a smartphone with connectivity.
The pilot found that IoT technology is technically feasible to apply with smallholder farmers. The system runs reliably with an uptime close to 100 percent, consistent precision in measuring water levels, and minor troubleshooting, outages, or maintenance. The IoT system is user friendly for farmers, and they appreciate its precision and convenience. Farmers applying IoT used between 13 to 20 percent less water than farmers applying conventional AWD.