Irrigation system that can tell when farm soil is dry

Students and a lecturer at Meru University of Science and Technology have developed a sensor-based automatic irrigation system.

The innovation is aimed at reducing the labour cost and amount of water wasted in overhead and furrow irrigation methods.

James Karuri, Samuel Lalai and lecturer Daniel Maitethia developed the idea and finalised it towards the end of last year, and are now looking for companies to manufacture the system in large scale for farmers.

Maitethia, who is the team leader, says the system, which has already won a Sh1 million prize from the Water Ministry, will reduce the cost of producing food through irrigation and curb water wastage.

“A solar-powered intelligent irrigation system is what Kenya needs to achieve food security and conserve water. The sensors in the system that we developed detect when the soil is dry so that the system can release water to crops,” said Maitethia, adding that once enough water has been channeled to the crops the system automatically closes the supply.



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