A project on locally-made smart hydroponics funded and monitored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has already been completed and its results showed “potential for improving hydroponics farm enterprises.”
DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the project is funded by the Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) and is monitored by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).
“With the application of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the monitoring and control of growth parameters for lettuce grown in a nutrient-film technique (NFT) hydroponics system can now be automated,” he said in a report.
The research team from Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) is led by project leader Dr. Renerio Mucas.
De la Peña said Mucas’ developed the hardware and firmware components, and installed and tested them at Ephrathah Farms Inc. in Badiangan, Iloilo City.
“The smart greenhouse hydroponics is equipped with sensors and communication technologies that automatically captures data on essential parameters such as temperature, acidity or pH, electrical conductivity (EC), and water flow. The collected data goes through an IoT platform for monitoring, analysis, and control,” he said.
“Aside from monitoring from a personal computer, the use of the Android App enables a farm manager to remotely monitor the system’s status or control specific actuators for water flow, fertigation, and water cooling.”
The DOST chief explained that traditionally, microclimate and agronomic parameters are recorded manually and inconsistently.
“The smart greenhouse minimizes labor work, making it less tedious. It helps improve efficiency in the use of resources and nutrients while optimizing yield gains.”
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