Partha P. Biswas
FarmMOJO is a digital solution to problems in aquaculture. It is a simple mobile application that provides advices on water quality, feed usage and the overall health indicators of the pondsbased on the farm level information.
Aquaculture has grown at an impressive rate over the past decades. Poised to reach over US$208.9 billion by the year 2025, aquaculture will bring in healthy gains adding significant momentum to global growth. This culture is expected to provide close to two-thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
To solve various challenges in aquaculture, Digital transformation is now imperative. This change requires the joint efforts of farms, government agencies, institutions, researchers, and suppliers to work together to make sure that the right technologies are being developed for farmers.Digital transformation in aquaculture is not just a change related to using technology but it is a change related to the business culture. For example, the eFishery aims to solve the problems by providing an internet-based tech. to monitor and control feeding even at the “level” of satiety in fishes.
The power of digital solutions
In the aquaculture industry communicating with each other, sending and uploading critical data to a central command station, providing the operator a complete view of the entire facility are now absolutely necessary. IoT platform device makes a smart pond management system. IoT intelligent system is designed for using sensors for water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and water level etc. of pond water. There are solar and non-solar sensors.The system helps 24-hour smart monitoring and effortless fish and shrimp farming. Status of the pond culture can be monitored on cellphones or computers at all time so farmers have time to rest and reduce labour cost. Further the system provides human-machine interface display,remote control,Cloud and Big Data repository. Daily recording and management may be transformed into graphical display so that farmers can clearly understand daily changes.
Intelligent control system can be used for aerator, feeder, water temperature meter, salinity meter, pH meter, dissolved oxygen meter, water level meter, EC meter, NH4-N meter, nitrate meter, water pump, generator connection etc.When the intelligent control system detects anomalies in the aquaculture pond, it gives signals. The aerator automatically turns the power on or off by a micro controller depending on dissolved oxygen saturation.
Fish and shrimp feeders can be programmed to change the feeding time and feed usage.Local network system consists of router, modem and battery 12 V which work for sending and receiving data packets either from sensors to cloud server or from cloud server to smart aerator using MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) protocol.
FarmMOJO ensures constant monitoring of water quality, feed intake, disease outbreak indicators and biomass conversion which indicates the efficiency of farm feeding strategy.
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and also accessing the data. It is not like our hard drive or local network storage. Eruvaka Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh has Cloud based aquaculture pond management solutions for real time monitoring of ponds with intelligent control of aerators, feeders etc. It has voice alert system for in case of low DO levels.
Industry innovators believe that in future Big Data using Hadoop platform would become an important component for industry growth and even influence production yields. Big data can deal enormous data sets that would be impossible for any single human to handle demanding the help of automated systems. The data may be of customer transaction records, production databases, web traffic logs, automation, satellites, sensors and IoT.
Some important digital platforms include iQuatic,is a digital platform that analyzes data about shrimp size, water quality, feeding patterns, and health and weather conditions to help farmers make decisions and optimize their practices. Aquanetix, AquaManager, Aquatracker, SmartWaterPlanet are platforms that offer integrated solutions for aquaculture management, integrating smart IT and fish farming innovations. Cageeye for monitoring of fish behaviour and optimization of food cycles. Aquavista is an IoT platform that provides a comprehensive overview of the company’s aquaculture production operations.
FarmMOJO, anAI power platform
FarmMOJO, floated in March,2018, is a digital solution to problems in Indian shrimp and fish farmers.The mobile app interface advises farmers on water quality, feed usage and the overall health indicators of the ponds.It is a simple mobile application that provides advices based on the farm level information that farmers input into the app.
FarmMOJO uses big data and Artificial Intelligence(AI) enabled farm advisor tool. It monitors the real-time production data gathered from the farms through the mobile application interface. The application also utilizes the data captured by IoT or smart farm management tool. Based on the pond level production data, it’s prediction model uses the algorithm (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations) to provide context sensitive suggestions and alerts to improve the water quality parameters, feed consumption pattern and health management. SIP accelerator provides a great platform to expand it’s service offerings in Indonesia and South East Asian shrimp producing countries.
The app uses technology to analyse feed and growth patterns in relation to fish health. It alerts the farmers about parameters, which are not in optimal levels. It ensures constant monitoring of water quality, feed intake, disease outbreak indicators and biomass conversion which indicates the efficiency of farm feeding strategy. FarmMOJO observes poor Feed Conversion Ratio(FCR), it recommends actions and relevant products the farmer can use to normalise the pond environment.The company claims that this approach has helped shrimp farmers improve disease prediction rates and accuracy, boost production efficiency, produce higher quality shrimps, increase profits and reduce dependency on external sources for daily operations. It reduces the dependency on technicians in daily culture operations and reduces operational costs.
Use of application is based on a subscription model for the farmers which is to be paid monthly. A basic plan in FarmMOJO costs Rs 500 per pond for the farmers. Apart from helping the farmers in shrimp farming, the company is also working out on multiple secondary revenue sources such as hatcheries, food processors, feed companies and healthcare products producers. The company also plans to offer credit and insurance products for those working in the aquaculture industry in the future.
FarmMOJO company is conducting training and workshop sessions at frequent intervals to train the new generation of farmers about the benefits of technology adoption. Rajamanohar Somasundaram, the man behind this venture says, “Now, 1350 plus farms have been made smart farms with the FarmMOJO implementation.”The feedback from farmers using this app is very encouraging as their productivity has risen, reporting about reduction in wastage of feed.
However, there are limitations which impede in the wider spread of digital solutions. The common reasons attributed are illiteracy and lack of awareness. Promoting technology awareness among farmers is a big issue as most farmers prefer orthodox farming system as their forefathers did. Reaching out to farmers by an smart phone is a difficult proposition as they believe it as a misinvestment. Also, it is tough to overcome cultural and language barriers.
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Dr. Partha P. Biswas
Incharge-Fisheries Training & Culture Unit
Simurali Krishi Kendra
Simurali, Dist.-Nadia, West Bengal