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Experts developing smart technology in poultry and dairy facing financial challenge

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Afred Ahuta, Domotele Technology Internet of Things consultant. He is one of the experts involved in smart technology development for poultry and dairy management. Photo: Laban Robert.

Two experts who started developing a smart technology in 2016 which could help farmers detect diseases and know the output of individual chickens as well as detect heat and diseases in dairy cows have decided to rest the process due to lack of financial support.

Alfred Ahuta and Maurice Mutange who are Domotele Technology Internet of Things consultants had come up with a customised machine to machine (M2M) system to alert farmers of any health risk as well as the performance of each chicken before developing another system which could detect heat and any risks of disease attacks in cows but they got stuck towards the end that year upon facing financial setbacks.

“Our aim was to develop a system which is effective and affordable to our farmers but we realised along the way that more finance was needed to bring the project into completion besides developing enough devices that will cater for the growing number of farmers in poultry and dairy agribusiness,” said Ahuta.

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The duo used to import sensors at Sh200 ($2) which are used as detectors in poultry cages and cow sheds but upon arrival of the goods they were required to part with about Sh15,000 for clearance by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) something which discouraged them.

“We are really discouraged to buy something at a cheaper price only to pay more just to be cleared to have it. Our efforts to approach KRA officials did not yield fruits as the authority officials told us their hands were tied by the law and there was no way they could help,” said Ahuta.

The sensors were installed and used to collect the health or production data before relaying it to a safe domain in the cloud for the farmer to access it via the Internet or short message service (SMS) for those who do not have Internet.

“Our system was cheaper and simpler to use by farmers once it was installed but we were hosting our servers outside the country for cloud services and this was expensive as it needed more money to establish,” said Mutange.

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M2M system which could provide real time information via mobile telephone had been implemented on chickens, but it can also work with other egg-laying poultry such as geese, turkeys, ducks, among others, said Mutange.

“We had also set sensors near a dairy cow for a test and it work and appreciated by many farmers and dairy stakeholders who learnt of it.”

According to Ahuta, they have lost hope as the y are planning to continue with it from August this year once they are through with the other projects they are handling at the moment.

“We could not stay together for long as every one of us hand other responsibilities to handle besides sourcing funds for their various projects but once we agree on date and time we will kick it off again.”

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Ahuta is currently working on his hydroponic project in Rongai while Mutange is in horticultural business trying to make ends meet.

Ahuta can be reached on +254723213125 while +254723213125 while Mutange on +254 713701599.

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