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Aug 8, 2022

Smart Farms: The Evolution of Farming in Africa.

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For Oswald Cedric Syeni, a senior year IT student at BlueCrest, the inspiration for his final year project, a smart farm, came from the current narrative of Africa—a continent that is naturally endowed with resources but remains impoverished.

Coming from a small town in Burkina Faso, citizens rely on subsistence farming to survive; similar to 65 percent of Africa’s population. This led Oswald to consider how technology could be used to improve farming practices and make them more sustainable.

“We all know that Africa is endowed with numerous resources, such as fertile lands, a labor force, and so on. Despite this, Africa is still a poor continent. “This led me to look at the African distribution of work,” he explained when asked about the idea behind the smart farm. “I am an Agritech advocate who believes that technology can improve all aspects of farming and growing.”

With the intent to develop the agricultural sector, Smart Farms present the solution to the increment in Africa’s harvest.

One may ask what Smart Farming is.

Smart farming is the management of farms through modern information and communication technologies to increase the quantity and quality of products while minimizing the amount of human labour required. Four main components make up this project as a whole. 

The first is an automated door that uses facial recognition to ensure farm security by allowing only authorized individuals to enter the farm.

The smart roofing system follows, which serves two functions. It ensures that the roof opens in the morning and closes at night ensuring the plant receives its daily dose of sunlight for photosynthesis.

The third and most important feature is the irrigation system. This has a pump that fills a tank that automatically waters the plants and ensures that only the necessary amount of water is distributed. The regulation of the irrigation system is determined by the type of plant.

A farm-connected web application is the final component. This app can help farmers and farm owners visualize their operations (moisture, humidity, temperature, sunlight intensity, and many more).

This application includes Agrivisor functionality, which acts as a digital advisor to the farmer. It aids in determining the presence of grass, intruders, the rate of plant growth, and the seasonal chart.

Oswald is determined to create smart automated farms and let everyone with a small piece of land anywhere in Africa benefit from it. He believes this is the way forward as it ensures food security, reduces cost, and makes life easier for farmers.

“My smart Farm project is a work in progress, but as Africa’s population continues to grow and the agricultural industry remains a factor in its economy, it has the potential to benefit many people. That’s why I’m super excited about it”.

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