In line with previous efforts to tackle the challenges of the present and the future in the area of digital farming, AICOS has joined ProjectAfrica (“On-site air-to-fertilizer mini-plants relegated by sensor-based ICT technology to foster African agriculture”), a new project that aims to leverage the potential of computer vision, sensor integration and smartphones in agriculture.
A growing number of intelligent machines have been developed to help farmers in their daily activities. However, this equipments might be difficult to access for rural farmers, due to high costs, lack of technological literacy or lack of integration with existing systems. Aware of this reality, AICOS’ researchers have started to look into making use of smartphones’ potentialities in agriculture, in order to bring forth new opportunities for rural farmers who currently have limited access to up-to-date agricultural information (e.g., markets, weather, crop diseases, etc.) and assistance from agricultural experts and government extension workers.
AICOS’ competences and background knowledge on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and computer vision will be an added-value in ProjectAfrica (“On-site air-to-fertilizer mini-plants relegated by sensor-based ICT technology to foster African agriculture”), a new project that brings together organisations who operate under the LEAP-AGRI, a long term EU-Africa research and innovation partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.
The consortium led by the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), counts with the following partners: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) from South Africa; National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).
The project proposes a green-energy driven technology solution to support the on-site fertiliser production in Africa, providing cost-affordable, green-made fertilisers to local small-scale farms. The solution enables the production of liquid fertilisers on demand to be applied directly to the soil, dissolved into irrigation water for foliar application. Test plants are being set in Uganda, South Africa and Ghana. The use of sensor technology and algorithms by FhP-AICOS attached to mobile devices will be explored to monitor the fertiliser production, to provide female rural farmers with the necessary knowledge and insights. This project opens doors to remote control of the fertiliser production by the African farmer as well as to interact with experts (e.g., in Europe).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727715.