I just finished an interview with the United Nations Environment Programme, the division of the United Nations which focuses on protecting our environment. The interview would appear in coming days on UN-managed #SolveDifferent website.
To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Largely, even as the world unleashes technologies in agriculture, it is very important that our environment and biodiversity are protected. Simply, technologists must consider nature as they innovate. Interestingly, there is no solution including the status quo (do nothing) that offers a better vista than precision farming on protecting the environment.
In Africa, specifically, we have seen two major challenges: reduction in land fallow periods and climate change as generation-shaping challenges. As population accelerates, fallow period has dropped from seven years to about three years making it harder for soil to replenish effectively, naturally. Combine that with paralysis from climate change, you get a double whammy for rural farmers.
But these issues can only be managed if they are measured: that is where precision farming comes in. As a pioneer of this sub-sector in Africa, Zenvus is making sure that our technologies and processes are designed with the best of nature in mind.
Zenvus is an intelligent solution for farms which uses proprietary electronic sensors to collect soil data like moisture, nutrients, pH, etc. It then sends the data to a cloud server via GSM, satellite or Wifi. Algorithms in the server analyze the data and advice farmers on farming processes. As the crops grow, the system deploys special cameras to build crop vegetative health index for detection of drought stress, pest and diseases. Our system has the capability to tell a farmer what, how, and when to farm. It has in-built GPS, compass and XL making it possible to map farm boundaries which could be useful during loan and insurance applications.