On June 16 2020, leading pan-African telecommunications group Liquid Telecom announced that it has partnered with Twiga Foods to increase agricultural productivity through precision farming.
According to Liquid Telecomm, the partnership will open up a new world of opportunities, enabled by Kenya’s rapidly expanding Internet of Things (IoT) network.
Liquid Telecom partners with Twiga Foods.
New system developed through the partnership
To improve farm productivity at Twiga’s Takuwa farm, Liquid Telecom has deployed a complete precision agriculture IoT system. The system benefits from Liquid Telecom’s extensive low-power wide area IoT network using 0G Sigfox technology. This covers 85% of the Kenyan population at lower costs than other technologies.
These sensors provide critical information to the Twiga agronomy team. In addition, The weather station provides real time data which 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 like temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind is also gathered and monitored on a real time basis.
The soil probes measure moisture levels and temperature at six different depths into the soil. They provide precise information of soil quality and irrigation needs at the roots of specific crops.
The system includes four types of agriculture sensors:
- Weather station
- Soil moisture and temperature probes
- Borehole water meters
- Measure irrigation water acidity and salinity
This system will directly increase yield and productivity. It will benefit Twiga’s food security efforts during and beyond COVID-19.
Statements from the CEOs
Adil Youssefi, CEO of Liquid Telecom, 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.”
He further added that deploying intelligent farming expertise through IoT sensors on the Twiga Foods Takuwa Farms will “increase productivity and efficiency, ultimately contributing to the national Big 4 Agenda.”
Peter Njonjo, CEO of Twiga Foods, said that one of the main reasons of the partnership is to increase business efficiency through digital solutions. “By using smart devices, we have automated multiple processes across the farm’s production cycle. 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,” said Njonjo.
As IoT has the ability to transform agricultural productivity which can lead to greater food security. And also, improved farmer incomes in Kenya, Njonjo encourages farms to deploy IoT solutions to aid in food security.