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Internet of Things now part of farmers’ lives

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The way of working for farmers in Don Duong district in Lam Dong Province can help clear up the preconception that farmers are overburdened with tasks.

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At vegetable farms in Don Duong, farmers use drip irrigation systems and water vegetables eight times a day. However, instead of switching on pumps on the fields eight times, they conduct operations with hand-held devices.

According to Nguyen Thi Thuy from Lam Dong, it takes farmers only several minutes to operate the system.

“Though they are away at weddings, their fields still can be watered,” she said.

The work that farmers of Tu Nhien Cooperative, which specializes in growing safe vegetables in Son La, must do every morning is removing weeds while monitoring the irrigation system.  

Le Thi Luyen, chair of Tu Nhien, said in the past, 38 households had to spend a whole day to water 15 hectares of vegetables. But now they spend that time on other works.

IoT devices are connected with sensors to measure temperature, humidity, pH and rainfall to run the watering, cooling and lighting systems. 

Farmers will receive messages or emails if some indicators are not reasonable. Meanwhile, information about production history, including the day of growing and harvesting, origin and expiry date is automatically recorded to serve origin tracking. 

A farmer said the investment rate of IoT system is VND2-20 million for every sao of field (360 square meters) and sometimes the rate could be up to hundreds of millions of dong. Therefore, only well-off households which have stable revenue and clients can have the system.

According to Nguyen Khac Minh Tri, CEO of MimosaTEK, a firm which provides precise business solutions, the most expensive item in an IoT sytem is a sensor, which reads the indicators related to environmental conditions.

“We can make circuits, sensor reading modules and software on websites and mobile devices, but we cannot make sensors. This is a product related to basic science, while the research in this field in Vietnam is not deep enough," he said.

Tri admitted that only the owners of big farms who want to ‘play big’, invest in IoT solutions, while medium and small farms are still reluctant.

The cost for MimosaTEK’s irrigation monitoring system is VND16 million per hectare. Though farmers know the system is very useful, they don’t have enough money to spend on it. 

“Vietnamese farmers are used to the old production method and they feel comfortable with it. Spending tens of millions of dong on every sao is really a revolution,” he said.

 

 

Source: VietNamNet

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