Clive Nyapokoto is one of the young technocrats who have been doing wonders at the Harare Institute of Technology. His rise to stardom recently came when his Vermi-Acquaponics project won the Energy Global Award in South Africa after outshining other innovations exhibited by students from other countries. The viability of his smart tech-driven agricultural system is now visible after Clive has now made strides in commercializing the VA System.
By Cisco Eng. Shingie Lev Muringi
Clive has now managed to setup a team already on the ground and building stricures to implement the project at a much bigger spectrum in his Svosve rural home in Marondera. The system is now a tried and tested agricultural innovation which has yielded tangible fruits in recent months after successfully growing and yielding cucumbers, tomatoes, fish, bees for honey and other diversified plants.
The VA system is a smart integrated organic farming system. It combines small livestock, vermiculture, aquaponics (Farming of vegetables using fish waste) and ICT. It utilizes animal waste in the growing of vegetables in no dig gardening concepts i.e. artificial grow beds which can either be containers, trenches with quarry or raft, PVC pipes or vermin-sheet mulch beds.
The whole concept is based on increasing efficiency and productivity in organic farming by taking advantage of old and new technologies. Vermiculture (Worm Farming) is used as a waste management technique of all household kitchen and office biodegradable waste that include paper, sadza, vegetable cutoffs among others.
The worms are used as chicken and fish feed dried or fresh. ICTs are used to remotely monitor, control and manage various variable parameters within the system these include temperature, ph, feeding rates, moisture, flow rates, water level, leaks, plant and animal health, oxygen, light and humidity. The information is sent in real time over the internet to any social media platform or a customized app the user can also sent commands to the system i.e. feed fish, start/stop water pumps.
- Can be remotely monitored no matter where you are as long as you have internet you can manage your garden.
- Little is put to waste…poultry waste is used as feed for fish and worms worms are used as fish feed as well as chicken feed. They are also dried for later use.
- Multiple outputs…..organic fertilisers, pest repellants, fish, crop produce, poultry this also increases revenue base.
- Resourceful in terms of water, energy, space…..only about 10% of water is used, utilizes gravity and less electrical energy, can provide four times as much on an equivalent space.
- Can be done on any environment considered not suitable for farming even indoor or roof top farming.
- No digging, no weeding
- Reduces environmental pollution as paper is composted and many other biodegradable waste.
Other initiatives include – Smart beehive allows remote monitoring of honey production in the beehive, including security alerts.
Am working on a start-up Shift Organic Technologies https://www.facebook.com/shiftorganictechnologies/ Visit our face book page to see a variety of products on offer.
The battle for relevance continues…follow Shingie Levison Muringi our Technology Research Specialist and Sub Editor on Twitter @ShingieMuringi1, Email [email protected] or direct Cell: 0775 380 652 for all the latest trending technological issues in and outside Zimbabwe.