KENYA – Upande, a social enterprise that provides Internet, web mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) services, has launched an internet of things (IoT) platform dubbed Vipimo.
Vipimo is a sensor subscription service for farmers who need to make data driven decisions around water, climate, mobility and performance of their physical operations.
The official launch was carried out by the Agricultural Counsellor of the Dutch Embassy of Kenya and Tanzania, Ingrid Korving. This also marks Upande’s10th year of operations in Kenya.
Mark De Blois, CEO of Upande noted the importance of planning for farmers and highlighted the importance of having a platform to measure all variables that facilitate for a successful planting season and to ensure farmers get maximum returns during the harvesting season.
“Weather patterns are shifting; climate variability is a fact. This brings further challenges to already challenging conditions for most farmers in Kenya. When do you plant, when do you irrigate, how do you ensure you get maximum return on your inputs? How do you make sure your farm is run well 24/7, 365days a year? This is where Vipimo comes in handy and why it is important “he commented.
Vipimo sensors include: water flow, water level, water pressure, temperature, humidity, power consumption, door position, vehicle movement, vehicle fuel level, soil moisture, pH, EC, weather station. Coupled with the launch of the new Vipimo platform is Upande’s Kenya built IoT data logger dubbed “Kipimo”.
This dedicated low cost electronic data logger will not only allow Upande to lower the cost of sensor subscriptions in the near future, but it will also create more innovative jobs on the continent.
Vipimo targets medium to large farmers keen to lower their cost of operations, boost their profits ,through quick response to actionable data. Future releases will target small holder farmers.
Nicholas Ambanya, CEO of Magana Flowers in Kikuyu highlighted the importance of having this platform saying, “We have had improved disease control, increased flower head/bud & length of stem, better water conservation, all as a result of daily use of data from Upande’s Vipimo IoT platform.”
Shaun Brunner Facilities/Security Manager Kuehne & Nagel, JKIA, Nairobi, said he had benefits while using Vipimo.
“I have been very happy with the performance of the Vipimo equipment and would have no hesitation in recommending Upande as a preferred service provider” he noted.
Upande has been innovating with data centric ICT solutions in the Kenyan market for a decade and plans on expanding its footprint to capture regional contacts and clientele.