BY Fredrick Ngugi, 12:09pm September 22, 2016,

Rise of Remote-Controlled Greenhouses in Kenya

Brian Bett, one of the co-founders of Illuminum Greenhouses tests the remote-controlled sensor. How Africa

Kenyan farmers are now enjoying a reduced cost of farming thanks to new remote-controlled greenhouses.

Developed by Illuminum Greenhouses, the new farming technology allows farmers to monitor temperatures, soil moisture, humidity, and water supply in their greenhouses using remote-controlled sensors.

These sensors then transmit the data to farmers’ mobile phones, allowing them to monitor their greenhouses remotely through their cellphones.

Convenience & Efficiency

With this greenhouse technology, Kenyan farmers can remotely open and close irrigation systems, making their farming easy, safe, and cost-effective.

This technology ensures that the farmer is regularly updated on the status of their greenhouse through SMS alerts, and if the farmer doesn’t respond to the alert for more than 30 minutes, the sensor automatically opens the irrigation system and closes it when the moisture content is restored, according to the BBC.

The system is powered by solar panels to make it accessible to farmers in rural areas, where electricity is still a big challenge.

This smart-farming technology has become quite popular among Kenyan farmers, with an estimated 1,000 farmers across the country already benefiting from it.

According to Illuminum Greenhouses, the total cost of setting up the remote-controlled greenhouse ranges between 99,000 and 2 million Kenyan shillings (about $20,000), depending on the size of the greenhouse.

The automated sensor costs 35,600 Kenyan shillings. Farmers also have to pay 2,300 shillings in installation fees.

However, the cost of the sensor is expected to drop to about 15,000 shillings once the ongoing enhancements of the device in China are complete, according to the Daily Nation.

Illuminum Greenhouses is an agri-tech greenhouse and drip installation company founded by Kenyans Taita Ngetich, Brian Bett, Alice Kamau, and Damaris Karanja with the aim of working with smallholder farmers to improve production and increase efficiency through the use of new, modern technologies.

Apart from installing remote-controlled greenhouses, the company also does soil testing, pre-site survey, and agronomic support.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: September 22, 2016

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