Nigeria: Research group secures $110,000 grant for smart agriculture

A research group at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), High Performance and Intelligence Computing (HiPIC) has secured a $110,000 grant for the development of smart agriculture in Nigeria. The grant was awarded by the Lacuna Fund which is made of funders like the Rockefeller Foundation, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (CIDRC), Google, among others as an initiative to close the lack of datasets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Speaking during a 1-day workshop on Sustainable Smart and Integrated Catfish Soilless Farming (Aquaponics) held recently at the university, the Lead Researcher, Dr Collins Udanor, said that the group wrote a proposal for the grant having in mind how to deploy Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture, particularly fish farming.

Udanor explained that: “the call for proposals was just released in September 2020. After studying it, I assembled a team. We followed the instructions diligently and improved on our previous proposal. We designed and developed mobile fish ponds for tenancy aquaculture, fitted with IoT sensors. We programmed the microcontrollers to work with the sensors, constructed the units, and installed them. We built a greenhouse from scratch and bought fingerlings. By the end of May 2021 our IoT sensors went live.

“We were uploading datasets from the fish ponds to the cloud every 5 seconds. The datasets were parameters showing the states of the fish pond water. They include temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen levels, pH levels, ammonia, and nitrate. With these datasets coming up to the cloud, we could remotely monitor the state of the ponds.”

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