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    Smart greenhouses

    Technology and training to fight drought in Kenya

Women at work in Kenya
  • The project aims to strengthen the resilience of the Laikipia county’s farmer and shepherd Maasai communities through the installation of smart greenhouses that will increase and diversify agricultural production. Equipped with a system of sensors that will provide data on temperature, humidity and soil nutrients, as well as data on cultivated products, these greenhouses will optimise yield and reduce the use of water and fertilisers.

  • 5 smart greenhouses

    50% water saving

    50% fertiliser saving

Masai woman

The sky is blue. A deep blue. Cloudless. Above Laikipia, in northern Kenya, this is how it is most of the time. Rainfall is very low, almost non-existent. The land is dry. Water is an invaluable resource.

The Maasai who inhabit this county often have to deal with a lack of nutritious food. Men take care of livestock farming while women are left to deal with domestic and educational tasks, as well as the marginal activities of agriculture and commerce. Agricultural products are grown on a large scale in specific seasons and domestic production is insufficient to meet the needs of communities. In addition, there are ongoing conflicts among groups to secure access to the scarce water resources for herds.

The Laikipia Permaculture Centre has been operating for several years in this context promoting organic farming and an innovative approach aimed at enhancing local product supply chains (aloe, honey, cactus). The centre supports a dozen local groups in the development of sustainable agriculture, the processing and marketing of products and access to water resources.

In this context, the project plans to install smart greenhouses equipped with sensors that will collect data on the types of crops and soils and match them with weather and climate data. The smart greenhouses will supply real-time information on the fertilisation and irrigation requirements of each crop by communicating data through smartphones. Thanks to this system, the irrigation system can also be activated, the fans can be switched on in case of excessive humidity inside the greenhouse, which can be opened or closed depending on the temperature data; the system also sends alerts about low or high fertiliser levels.

As well as having a strong impact on food safety, this innovative technological solution means that surplus products can be sold, and this in turn guarantees additional revenues to the communities. It also strengthens the ability to tackle both the climate transition and the social empowerment of women.

Project overview

Realised in cooperation with Ipsia, Laikipia Permaculture Centre, the innovative company Synnefa Green Limited and the business accelerator Sote Hub, the project will reduce the use of water and fertilisers for greenhouse crops. It will also provide data on the best agricultural practices and crops thanks to the following activities:

  • assistance to and training of Synnefa Green staff by Sote Hub: creation of training material and development of a marketing strategy
  • installation of five smart greenhouses with water tanks, irrigation systems and sensor systems
  • eight trainings and regular assistance to the beneficiaries on greenhouse management and the different phases of cultivation (from nursery to harvest)
  • collection of data on production yield by crop and comparison with previous ones
Kenyan women in a mais field

Beneficiaries

  • 299 producers, 293 of which women, in four communities (Nabulu, Osuguroi, Twala and Naatum)
  • Laikipia Permaculture Centre will benefit from a greenhouse
  • My name is Lara, I'm CELIM project officer for Africa
  • Project title
    Smart Greenhouses in Laikipia County in Kenya

    Project manager
    Lara Viganò, [email protected]

  • Date
    October 1st 2021/June 30th  2022

    Partner
    Ipsia
    Laikipia Permaculture Centre
    Synnefa Green Limited
    Sote Hub

Donors

Support the activities

  • 50 €

    Support the purchase of seeds for a greenhouse

  • 80 €

    Purchase agricultural tools

  • 100 €

    Help build the irrigation system

  • 200 €

    You help build a smart greenhouse

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