Smart Farming Technology by Jeff Dodd

Jeff Dodd has come up with a smart watering device for growing fresh produce.
Although this is directly being applied to the agricultural sector it can be applied in various industries. The system can be able to observe weather data along with soil dryness to be able to best determine when and how much of watering the plants require.

Prototype Summary

Jeff Dodd has come up with a smart watering device for growing fresh produce.

Although this is directly being applied to the agricultural sector it can be applied in

various industries. The system can be able to observe weather data along with soil

dryness to be able to best determine when and how much of watering the plants

require.


The analysis is multi layered as it concerns itself with the following:

• Type of plant (agronomic information that is best understood by farmers)

• Plant watering requirements

• Weather conditions

• Frequency of rainfall

• Vegetation landscape composition


Sensors feed into the computer mainframe which is the Andriuno system and

processes it to ensure that water is periodically and timely used to water the plants.

The internet of things (“IoT”) technology allows the device to automatically dispense

water to the respective plants.


The connection to an external device will be done wirelessly and can be done in

various ways such as the following:

• Bluetooth

• USSD

• Wi-Fi

The watering device will display the information from the device and be able to give

the end user the ability to initiate watering and or stop/delay the watering process. This

device will be connected to a water pump that is able to power the watering system

through the use of wires.


The Idea (the stage at where the project is):

• Product development

The idea is at the product development stage as a model type has been developed.

The testing stage is well underway to best ascertain how effective the technology is.

This watering system will assist a lot of smallholder farmers with growing and


harvesting produce and the average person who is employed and working in the non-

best environments for growing produce.


Product Life Cycle

• Start-up


The product is at the start-up phase at it looks to compete with other products. The

initial idea is to ensure that people in remote locations and locations that do not lend

themselves to being able to conduct crop growing.


Why the idea has no external innovation

The innovation that exists in this industry is largely concerned with using engineering

techniques to solve for mechanical issues which can be costly and require consistent

manual intervention. This innovation focuses on the use of sensors to leverage

technology and provide more efficiency to the produce growing process.


The development of such methodology is existing but continues to experience

additional improvements and this application seeks to build on that.


Production and Materials

- Technical feasibility

The required materials for the production of the device is as follows:

• Moisture sensors – 6 units

• Microservers – 6 units

• Electric water pump – 1 unit

• Wiring – 60 units (connecting the microservers, water pump and moisture sensors)

• Bread board – 1 unit

• Cable ties – 6-10 units

• PVC plastic piping (to make mini stands for the sprinklers) – 6 units

• Plastic cup holders – 6 units

• Screws – 6 units


The device is technically sound and works well. It takes 2-3 hours to assemble, and

the estimated time required to fully develop a final product is 12 months.

The device’s software component uses Arduino (programme language C++). It

collects the data (moisture levels and weather patterns) from the sensors to best

determine when the watering system should be activated.


Business Development

  • Financial feasibility

  • Open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects.


The cost of assembling the device has not been factored in for this application. The

purchase price of the device is based on a cost-plus basis. This will ensure that base

costs are covered, and that the device will have a smooth roll-out.

Funding considerations also have not been factored in the development of this device.


- Market size

The market for this device is large as it is applicable in mainly the agricultural sector.

In addition, the device can be used for non-farming purposes by people in locations

that are not ideal for farming. People living in flats can be able to best utilize it during

the holiday season.


- Addressable market size

For the purpose of acquiring the market the device plans to meet under 1% in the initial

roll-out and test stage.


- Early adopters, market education and marketing strategy

Targeted group is going to be a mix between residential building dwellers and small

holder farms.


  • Social Impact of the product and how it affects it target market

This device will positively affect the communities of farmers who require access to

smart technologies to improve farming outcomes and increased crop production which

will go a long to way to ensuring food security throughout the value chain of the

agricultural sector.


Commercial viability

This product is commercially viable due to the need of most non-farming conducive

retail customers who can benefit from this product. Its competitive advantage is in its

convenience which is in line with people who cannot afford complex and expensive

products for their farming needs.


Break even analysis

The pricing strategy will be only considered upon final product post testing phase of

the device. The volumes will be derived from the cost base of the research and

development and device build.


Selling Price

The selling price of the device will be marked up from cost (to order parts, assemble

and roll-out).


Long term planning and projections


The test phase will show how best to approach the build and roll out of the device.

Further research and development will be conducted on the device to ensure that the

product is market leading.

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