A consortium at the cutting edge of techologies

ITK, the KILIMO project leader, has set up a technology consortium composed of 3 key partners to synergistically contribute to the Kilimo proof of concept for the Vihiga County.

Airbus : Satellite imaging and real time information input

Airbus is an international reference in the aerospace sector, leader in earth observation and services, including in the agricultural sector.

Airbus Defense and Space will be carrying out the automatic contouring of agricultural land boundaries based on high-definition satellite images. The Airbus information will provide maps of the field location to contribute to building the agricultural land database. Airbus generates and makes available advanced analytics derived from satellite image sequences: temporal measurements of biophysical parameters, such as the Leaf Area Index (LAI), characterizing crop development. Together with additional information from growers practices, this biological parameter will be integrated into the ITK crop model to determine fertilizer amount and optimize the timing of their application, a high value information distributed to the farmers through the FieldSim platform built by e-tumba.

LocateIT : Kenyan GĂ©ographic Information System (GIS)

LocateIT is the service provider of the Government of Vihiga for its GIS services. It is also the distributor of Airbus in Kenya (relaying geo-spatial activities locally to maximize local benefit and project sustainability). LocateIT coordinates all operations with local authorities in Kenya.

The company has in charge the agricultural land database jointly built between partners and the deployment of the solution from authorities and extension officers to Kenyan producers.

GE-DATA : Geospatial image analysis and agricultural land database

GE-DATA specializes in the generation of geo-spatial agricultural statistics from satellite images. The company builds databases of parcel data and farmer knowledge. Its mission for the KILIMO project is to couple Airbus satellite images with ground verification to estimate the total field area and maize analytics over the Vihiga County. It also pairs Airbus maps with some field surveys to classify image data.

itk : Smart agriculture modelling company and leader of the project

Itk is a knowledge integrator company from scientific research and field expertise providing tools that help strategic decision making, forecasting and managing risks, and tools for farm and livestock management. Itk uses modelling to integrate and predict impacts of farming practices on farm productivity and environment impact.

Crop models, such as the one used for maize model in Kenya, is a mechanistic model fuelled with climatic data to create a virtual twin based on biological processes such as phenology, daily biomass production, hydric and nutritional balances and yield. Such twin allows to better set and organise agricultural practices by predicting their impact on yield and soil health.

Next to the plant model, the soil model includes the dynamics of the water cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the potassium cycle. By developing a new module for the carbon cycle, itk integrates a new soil health component and make Kilimo a climate co-benefit project. Within Kilimo, this new model will be challenged with ground truthing through soil measurement between agricultural seasons. The impact of FAO recommended practices on soil carbon dynamic will be studied to link the model with carbon sequestration.

The integration of the Airbus and GE-data technologies will set the agricultural land database and fuel the model with real time inputs (LAI). The model will generate individualized technical itinerary and the FieldSim tool (E-tumba) with distribute and organise these high value data all the way from authorities to the farmers for an optimize agricultural chain management.

FieldSim: digitalisation of agricultural family producers

The FieldSim tool is a digital platform connected with itk climate-smart crop models to generate individualized agricultural itinerary by providing, for example, the optimal date and seasonal rate for fertilization and fertilizer management globally.

FieldSim is part of the KILIMO solution and contributes to the project by summarising comprehensive indicators, monitoring the agricultural chain, and communicating high value data up to the farmer level.