Students from Sinhgad Technical Education Society–Rwanda (STES) have invented new irrigation technology capable of detecting humidity and release normal warmth to crops using machines called ‘sensors’.
Sensors are plunged underneath and release needed quantity of water to crops.
Rutangira Simbi Arsène is a 3rd year student in electronics at STES and member of students who developed the technology which is applied in Green Houses where crops are grown.
He has explained that they sought to address some challenges facing agriculture in their project.
“ We have realized that climate change can affect crops especially exposure to hot sun. Such matters prompted us to think about agriculture practices inside houses (Green House)”he said.
“We have sought a way of embracing this technology so we can have food sufficiency. Indeed the technology enables one to cultivate in any season of the year without waiting for rain, “said Rutangira.
He explained that they have developed sensors since a crop needs water for proper growth; sensors report humidity and warmth of crops along with mineral salts present in land which help to determine what crops need for proper growth.
“The sensor captures information from land and reports it on the screen via a small machine in Kinyarwanda language. When the sensor detects shortage of water in crops, it immediately switches on the engine to water crops. When crops are watered enough, the sensor stops the watering engine,” said Rutangira.
Placide Nsengiyumva, another student in Water engineering explained that the width of the Green House upon which the system using sensor machine is used depends on available land of the farmer.
“It can even be extended to one hectare. A farmer plants depending on owned land. We will need Green Houses in future to cultivate small land but bringing much harvest,” he said.
He explained that vegetables, tomatoes, cabbages and carrots are the crops most advised to cultivate in such green houses.
The students plan to train farmers on how to embrace such modern farming in case they obtain license from the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources.
The rector of STES University in Rwanda, Nzitonda Kiyengo says that they are holding talks with MINAGRI to connect students with farmers to train them in the application of their technology.
“We have started talks with MINAGRI .We have been warmly welcomed since the last exhibition demonstrated that such projects are helpful in agriculture. We are organizing how such projects can go into force since we were promised license of collaborating with farmers which will be widened as trainings bear fruits,” he said.
Nzitonda explained that the technology would cost between Rwf 25,000 and 30,000 per interested farmer when launched.
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