Ankur Bhan, Founder and Head of WING Business Line at Nokia reveals how IoT contributes to raising the income levels for farmers and enables them to further modernise their operations.
Did you know Algeria was a Mediterranean farming super power? It was. Unfortunately, it lost its agricultural glory due to erratic rainfall and drought. In an effort to address this very challenge and in line with Algeria’s plan in early 2000 to improve the productivity and lower production cost, a major leapfrog has taken place, enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology. This technology has helped a peach farmer in Algeria increase his yields, reduce impact on the environment, and cut irrigation costs. The results are phenomenal and promise significant opportunity for Algeria.
In Africa’s largest country, the agricultural sector contributes 10% of the country’s GDP and almost 4% of the land is dedicated to farming, according to the Algerian Agriculture Ministry. The sector is a critical artery to the economy’s heart, yet it faces severe challenges – stringent water restrictions are imposed by the government and farmers are plagued by drought. Though Algeria has been implementing modern irrigation system especially from 2000, it critically needs a further push to improve the production.
That’s exactly why an IoT trial was well aligned to Algeria’s agriculture industry. This smart technology allows users to track all “things” via computing devices so that they can send and receive data that informs decision-making. In this case, for example, the farmer was able to track soil humidity, water patterns, salinity and more.
Nokia has created a first of its kind Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) to support various IoT applications. The globally distributed, cloud native core infrastructure and the single IoT platform is offered as a service and provides global reach beyond borders and technologies. This managed connectivity ensures uniform service levels with lower latency and in line with local privacy regulations. And more importantly, we then work with mobile network operators - who can access our IoT “grid” to offer the service to their customers.
For this trial, we worked with Algeria’s largest mobile network operator Djezzy. The farmer did not need to know IoT, but he brought his depth of experience in farming while Nokia and Djezzy provided the technology and connectivity. It was a win-win scenario, proving the limitless potential of IoT and its immense impact on humanity.
How we did it