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Irrigation sprinkler-xAn SMS-controlled Wireless Irrigation System programme has been started in Gishari Integrated Polytechnic Regional School (IPRC) in Rwanda to help in improving irrigation in the country.

The SMS controlled wireless sensor network can control water flow for sectored, sprinkler or drip section irrigation.

The system helps irrigate crops with the right amount of water. We intend to have it used across the country. In today’s world, any operation can be done by sitting in a remote place,” said Jean d’Amour Mirembe, the technician who designed the system.

She said the school was preparing learners to face the challenge of growing globalisation and international competition. According to her, the major aim is to enhance students’ competitive capacity by equiping them with modern technological skills.

“The SMS irrigation technology will be taught to our students. It is user-friendly and we intend to roll it out across the country,” she said.

The system works based on two different receiving signals. For the first signal, when a mobile phone located on the electrical circuit of the system receives the first calling signal, it triggers the pump located into the water source near the field to irrigate the crops. The second signal is for switch off of the system after a certain period of time.

Agriculture is a source of livelihood for the majority of Rwandans.

Farmers have welcomed the new technology, saying it will help improve agriculture productivity.

“The SMS irrigation system will save us the burden of walking long distances to irrigate our crops,” said Aloys Kanamugire, a farmer.

Gishari Integrated Polytechnic was set up at the Police Training School in Rwamagana District, in 2013, to help improve the capacity of the Force and local residents.

Source: New Times