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Open AccessArticle

IoT Sensing Platform as a Driver for Digital Farming in Rural Africa

1
Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
2
Institute of Informatics (INF)—Federal University of Goiás (UFG), Goiânia 74690-900, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(12), 3511; https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123511
Received: 20 May 2020 / Revised: 10 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 21 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IoT-Based Precision Agriculture)
Small-scale farming can benefit from the usage of information and communication technology (ICT) to improve crop and soil management and increase yield. However, in order to introduce digital farming in rural areas, related ICT solutions must be viable, seamless and easy to use, since most farmers are not acquainted with technology. With that in mind, this paper proposes an Internet of Things (IoT) sensing platform that provides information on the state of the soil and surrounding environment in terms of pH, moisture, texture, colour, air temperature, and light. This platform is coupled with computer vision to further analyze and understand soil characteristics. Moreover, the platform hardware is housed in a specifically designed robust casing to allow easy assembly, transport, and protection from the deployment environment. To achieve requirements of usability and reproducibility, the architecture of the IoT sensing platform is based on low-cost, off-the-shelf hardware and software modularity, following a do-it-yourself approach and supporting further extension. In-lab validations of the platform were carried out to finetune its components, showing the platform’s potential for application in rural areas by introducing digital farming to small-scale farmers, and help them delivering better produce and increasing income. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensing platform; computer vision; small-scale farmers; internet of things; digital farming; rural Africa sensing platform; computer vision; small-scale farmers; internet of things; digital farming; rural Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oliveira-Jr, A.; Resende, C.; Pereira, A.; Madureira, P.; Gonçalves, J.; Moutinho, R.; Soares, F.; Moreira, W. IoT Sensing Platform as a Driver for Digital Farming in Rural Africa. Sensors 2020, 20, 3511. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123511

AMA Style

Oliveira-Jr A, Resende C, Pereira A, Madureira P, Gonçalves J, Moutinho R, Soares F, Moreira W. IoT Sensing Platform as a Driver for Digital Farming in Rural Africa. Sensors. 2020; 20(12):3511. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123511

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oliveira-Jr, Antonio; Resende, Carlos; Pereira, André; Madureira, Pedro; Gonçalves, João; Moutinho, Ruben; Soares, Filipe; Moreira, Waldir. 2020. "IoT Sensing Platform as a Driver for Digital Farming in Rural Africa" Sensors 20, no. 12: 3511. https://doi.org/10.3390/s20123511

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