Aquaponics is a combination of the practices of aquaculture and hydroponics. While Aquaculture is the farming of fish or aquatic plants for food; Hydroponics refers to growing plants in a soil-less or aquatic (but nutrient rich) environment.
The Swedish tech giant, Ericsson has collaborated with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the University of Berkeley, California to build a connected aquaponics pilot project that helps improve farmers’ lives in Mori village. Ericsson’s ‘Connected Aquaponics’ system combines aquaculture and hydroponics – reusing ammonia-rich waste water from fish tanks, recycling it for organic farming and providing live updates to farmers through a cloud and IoT driven network and a mobile app.
Ericsson’s technology enables a drone fish, which is connected to a wireless network, to move around in the tank. The drone fish, which forms the core of the advanced IoT driven ‘sensory framework’, monitors temperature, PH, salinity, ammonia, and nitrate levels. The data collected is stored in cloud-based servers and then further transmitted in real-time to farmers via the aquaponics app. This enables them to track progress and receive insights, in order to improve their harvest.
The pilot project, which was part of the Andhra Pradesh government’s Smart Village initiative, focused on creating a system that was scalable and sustainable – raising yields and reducing production costs. Below is a snapshot of the results of the pilot.
In addition to the app and sensor network, Ericsson has also deployed a Smart Water Grid Management System which enables efficient use of natural water resources in the Godavari basin, through sensors and actuators. Sensors measure the flow, quality, and levels of water across tanks in the village and the actuators automatically open and close the gates of the river flow system to distribute the water as per the needs of the farmers.
This system is effective in better management of flood situations. Aanand Varadarajan, head of Ericsson Research said in a statement,
Ericsson is deploying Smart City solutions in different parts of the world. The connected Aquaponics and Water Grid Management IoT solutions being demonstrated here will help improve harvest, optimise water distribution and has the potential to provide an improved life for millions of farmers in the country.”
To know more about the Connected Aquaponics project, you can download the full infographic here: