On Friday, AgriTech startup; Jaguza installed its own technology at a farm in Mubende owned by Mugalura Conusel to transform livestock farming leveraging use of IoT. The team installed a solar powered radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader, radar, ear tags, and trackers.
The founder & CEO; Jaguza Technologies; Mr. Ronald Katamba is among Ugandan researchers and technologists that are bringing technology to small farms around the country. With technology then, it makes the work easier for farmers reducing on the time they spend outdoor looking after their livestock.
After losing all his rabbits mysteriously from an unknown sickness without notice, Katamba says after graduating from university, he thought of developing an application that could help farmers so as they could not face the same problem. However, he developed an application that monitors the health of livestock, but tracks movement as well.
The farm manger told PC Tech Magazine the installed system is going to ease his work and the herdsmen as well. “We’re so happy that our boss reached out to Mr. Katamba to have these devices installed here. Now that we the time we spend with the livestock is reduced, we can have time for other chores around the farm.” he said.
Mr. Katamba said, farmers told should embrace use of technology, and they will see their work eased. “We’re happy that this farm has accepted to use our tech, and we look forward to working with other farms countrywide,” said Katamba.
The installation comes in a package of three when buying. The Basic Package costs USD$100 (approx. UGX370,000) used for 1-10 animals. The Premium Package costs USD$250 (approx. UGX918,000) used for 10-100 animals. Finally the Advanced Package costs USD$500 (approx. UGX1.9 million) used for 100+ animals.
The Mubende farm has over 800+ cattle, and roughly 1000+ goats prompting them to procure the Advanced Package.
Just like any other package, the advanced comes with ear tags with an embedded chip to monitor the health of the cattle, trackers to monitor movement, and a RFID reader to extract information that is sent to a phone or computer with or without internet.
Using the Jaguza Livestock app which is downloadable from app store and play store, they will monitor the animal’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and digestion so that most animal complications are pre-diagnosed as soon as possible. As well as track its movement and notified if they go beyond the farm demarcations.
Even without using the app which require a smartphone, a feature phone does the job as well.
Because both the ear tags and tracker use sensor technology, the RFID reader can detect them in a distance of 300 meters (roughly 0.2 miles). However, for large farm like this which seats on about 600 acres, they acquire a radar which boosts the frequency in a range of 2 miles (roughly 3,200 meters).
So in summary, the data/information extracted from the ear tags and tracker by the RFID reader, are sent to the Global System of Mobile communication (GSM) the cloud server which in turn sends information to the farmer’s phone or computer.
Meanwhile, the The app, among other things, has on-standby 85 vet doctors, a market in case the farmer wants to sell some of his/her produce, a weather forecast that tell weather conditions in a period of 21 days, among others. The also gives the owner the farm the ability to extract a report.
Jaguza is also developing a drone technology for large scale farm to monitor their livestock and record their numbers. However, Katamba told PC Tech Magazine the process is being delayed because of the government policies.
“We can not complete this in time because our policies are not favoring us at all. This is one of our biggest challenge apart from funding. We need to write to Ministry of Defence for us to have our drones operate,” said Katamba.
Notably, Katamba has revealed to us that other than in Uganda, Mozambique, Namibia, Fiji, and South Africa are currently using the app. Added that they have installed over 8,000 of their devices.
Being a farmer comes with hard work. You get to spend all day outdoors but with the use and growing technology, you can leverage it to ease your work.