AQUA-SENSE Real time Detect - Monitor - Prevent Solution for Sustainable Aquaculture in Uganda
About the project
UK-registered Partner: Aqsen Innovations Ltd – Rinku Dasbiswas
Africa-registered Partner: Makerere University – Fredrick Jones Myuodi
Uganda is the second largest aquaculture producer in sub-Saharan Africa with an annual yield of 120,000 MT. To boost production, government has promoted intensive pond culture and large-scale cage farming in open water bodies.
Our project investigated how lack of real time water quality monitoring could challenge the sustainability of aquaculture practices in the face of severe water quality issues caused by high stocking density and overfeeding resulting in increased risk of pollution, diseases, and mortality.
Active user engagement with farms revealed that strong correlations between certain water parameters and feeding patterns, if overlooked, could directly impact farm profitability by increased food conversion ratio of feeds which constitute nearly 70% of most farm operating costs. Additionally, trial installation of prototypes and demonstration of live water data streaming on handheld devices of farm supervisors, validated how real time data can generate actionable insights to initiate remediation decisions like: i) when to optimise feeds, ii) whether to start pump or aerator to improve water exchange or DO, iii) when to drain ponds iv) or administer vaccines.
Demonstration of Alert notifications, if threshold values were crossed, remote data management and time trend analytics were viewed as valuable tools for better farm management practices to enhance productivity and food security.
The project helped to define a minimum viable product that is appropriate and affordable. It opened opportunities to engage with Ugandan stakeholders and develop commercially viable models to elevate cooperatives or small-scale farmers and enhance sustainability of cage aquaculture by large farms in Lake Victoria.
Learn more about the project in this recording from our recent GCRF AgriFood Africa Project Showcase event.