Wednesday, June 28, 2017 4:33 pm
Agricultural experts task firms operating in Nigeria to take advantage of Internet of Things (IoT) in delivering quick solutions
By Daniels Ekugo
Recently Nigeria Society of Engineers, Apapa branch, Lagos, Nigeria, inducted new members into its hallowed chambers. The theme for the annual luncheon where this took place was Business Infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT). At the occasion, Director Incharge of Innovations and Value Added Services, Inlaks Limited, Oladimeji Talabi Koyejo delivered a lecture that cut across all business related involvements in Nigeria.
According to Kojeyo, “At the wake of the 21st century, engineers working on core information technology (IT) infrastructure (PCs, Laptops, servers, storages, switches and routers, interconnected into LAN/MAN/CAN/WAN) quickly overcame the above challenges with rapid development and adoption of enabling hardware and software applications for the remote access, remote monitoring, remote control and analytics of pooled data for critical business decision. The same unfortunately cannot be said of engineers working on Operational Technology infrastructure (OT) like factory machines, generators, air-conditioners, power plants, water treatment plants, battery banks etc. these infrastructure remained legacy, siloed, controlled by close computing and proprietary protocols with no IT involvement.”
“The Internet of Things is now being adopted to bridge the IT-OT divide. As operational Technology and Information Technology platforms are being interconnected, rich data exchange for remote access, monitoring, control and management is no longer exclusive to Information Technology infrastructure. Real time on-line data can also be pooled from business Operational Infrastructure to trigger action throughout the enterprise as needed for increased operational efficiency and business profitability.
“The result is complete business transparency, timeliness of intervention to avoid adverse effects and increased productivity, multiple data can also be collected from multiple interacting IT and OT devices, stored and analyzed to effect changes in business process and operation.”
In its own remarks, Dr Philips Ajayi, an agricultural expert applauded the in-depth analysis of the lecture and was enthusiastic that agricultural professionals, firms that support agriculture as their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) should tap into the Internet of Things in the hope to delivering effective agricultural management.
“This lecture has given me an insight into what many of us or many corporate firms have failed to tap into; I must confess that it is an eye opener. Thank you Dr Koyejo, and sincerely I must applaud also the British American Tobacco through their Foundation in Nigeria for realizing the importance of Internet of Things and deploying them to use in rural farming settlements.
“With the adaptation of the IoT’s, agricultural foundations or agripreneurs can unlock its agricultural diversification method through the devices. IoT provides the means to deliver efficient, innovative solutions that meet socio-economic challenges and transform business models. Recently I had the cause to under study the BATNF’s agricultural modulation and by tapping into it, a lot will be achieved not only to BANTF but to every business concern as Nigeria’s Internet of Things revenue according to statistics hits $93m.”
“In agriculture, just as they are heavily investing; by deploying IoT sensors that capture soil data to determine potential yield, humidity, harvest time, amount of irrigation per time, amongst other things, there will be increased yields. And by using the data collected, he said, from the IoT, you can optimize for best planting conditions, thus ensuring maximum yield output.”
Toeing the line of Dr Ajayi, an agricultural solutions provider, Mr. Micheal Osuji said “Firstly I must say that government must consciously do the unthinkable. The government must be prepared to back the concept of short dated production subsidies for agricultural output. Farmers operating in certain strategic sectors should either be given tax holidays of not less than five years or be charged significantly lower taxes than for other companies that do not operate along any identifiable agricultural value chain.”
According to Osuji, there is also an urgent need for the British American Tobacco Company’s Foundation to encourage farmers especially the small holder farmers to embark on massive economic tree planting, which I know they all have been doing for the past few years, as 80 per cent of forest loss projected to happen by 2030.
“We have a lot of plantations of hardwood established by late Awolowo in Oyo State and along Ibadan – Ijebu Ode road for years generating money, interestingly the Chinese are coming down to export it, but thankfully according to BANTF, it has encouraged its farmers on tree planting which is a good start. I know that locally people use wood for so many things and 99.7 per cent of all the woods in the Nigerian market are obtained from tick forest without replacing new ones. Trees like Teak once cut, each one will reproduce two new ones of which most farmers in Iseyin farm settlements have been encouraged to do.”
As more and more devices are joining the Internet of Things to contribute their data to the warehouse of Big Data. Engineers in organizations such as British American Tobacco should immediately begin to take inventory of their non connected business infrastructure for indepth analysis to drive efficiency and business process.