- Title: Why planting a 'smart seed' could help farmers beat climate change
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF CUCURACHI WORKING ON SMART SEED (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELECTRONIC ENGINEER RESEARCHER, LORENZO CUCURACHI, SAYING: "Magic bean is a wireless device that has a battery and uses the sensor to collect data from the soil and then it sends this data every hour to the server and then for the rest of the day it's just sleeping." BATTERY ATTACHED TO SMART SEED ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELECTRONIC ENGINEER RESEARCHER, LORENZO CUCURACHI, SAYING: "So imagine like farmers in really harsh weather conditions. They really struggle to cultivate any kind of plant. And then also sometimes you just, sometimes you just get the ground that doesn't really provide enough nutrition to the plants in certain patches. So what would you want to do is really you want to monitor each part of the soil and like create a map and basically understand how the soil works.
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 10:53
- Keywords: AI Climate change artificial intelligence drought farming magic bean smart seed
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MALMESBURY & CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA / GOKWE, ZIMBABWE / FAYOUM, EGYPT / ABUJA, NIGERIA
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / MALMESBURY & CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA / GOKWE, ZIMBABWE / FAYOUM, EGYPT / ABUJA, NIGERIA
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA007BBC3CYJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Engineers from Britain's Brunel University in London, have unveiled an artificial intelligence (AI) soil monitoring system in a bid to aid farmers across the world outmaneuver climate change.
The smart seed, also known as the 'magic bean' is expected help farmers boost crops, save time, water, money and cut waste.
Electronic engineer Dr. Tatiana Kalganova and Lorenzo Cucurachi developed the smart seed with the aim of making it an affordable product that farmers can purchase and use globally.
The small pod costing Â£92 ($118), is planted into the soil where it collects hourly data on growing conditions, including soil temperature and moisture levels.
Kalganova explained that farmers play an important role in looking after the environment and as they have the most contact with nature they can influence changes faster then anyone else.
She added that as the weather is changing at a dynamic pace that, "farmers need to adapt, they need to learn faster about the changing conditions of soil."
Cucurachi, an electronic engineer researcher at the university explained that farming techinques are not optimized to the specific field or plant, he added, "You need to understand first how the soil works and then you can, basically how often you have to water, how much you have to weather, because currently they just spread water all over the field. But some parts of the some patches of the field might not keep the water or they just behave differently."
The smart seed is a wireless device that has a battery and houses several sensors inside, which allows data to be collected and transmitted via a low powered Internet of Things (IOT) radio and fed to the internet.
Farmers will be able to check the data collected via a website or app and then see what the soil needs and where, allowing them to save time and resources.
The pod is currently not available commercially, but is being used by several farmers in the south west of England with plans to work with farmers in India in the near future.
(Production: Stuart McDill, Tanya Lezaic)
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