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Kenya’s first AI powered machine vision system making agriculture more predictable for farmers

  • By Vivian Kwame
  • January 13, 2021
  • 0 Comment

One of the main challenges that most farmers in Kenya face today is the lack of reliable information about their crops on the farm. Farm-level information that makes for better decision making regarding the quality of their crops, harvest yields and production costs. Due to this, farmers experience major losses annually that could be avoided. 

Lima Labs, an AI-technology company, addresses this challenge by providing Kenyan farmers with a machine vision system making their farms smarter and more predictable. 

“Lima is an AI powered machine vision system that sits above the farmers crops and takes images every 30 minutes while monitoring the weather. It learns how your crops grow relative to the environmental conditions,” says Jasper Simpkin co-founder Lima Labs.

He adds that without the right tools, it’s hard for farmers to collect enough data to make any useful insights. It can be labour intensive and often too slow to collect. Lima however is able to automate the entire data collection process that helps the farmer know when best to harvest. 

“We noticed how farmers were really lacking enough data to make an impact. So we decided to build Lima to help empower farmers with data driven decision making,” says Jasper.

The system has a harvest forecast feature that is able to accurately predict when best to harvest. Helping farmers be more confident in optimizing their production costs and getting better prices for their crops with earlier contracts. 

The patent pending Lima system is completely self-sufficient, utilizing solar power and wireless connectivity, meaning no messy wires and easy for anyone to install. Aside from being beneficial to the farmers too, Lima also has a positive impact on the Climate.

“By knowing what’s coming, logistics companies can optimize their trucks route planning. For example, instead of having 2 trucks going to 2 farms nearby half empty, a Lima forecast means they can send 1 truck that can visit both farms and come back full. Route optimization could reduce carbon emissions on the roads by 10-20%  in the country,” says Jasper.

Together with his co-founder Ghaith Limam, an AI & Machine learning software engineer, their vision is to deploy the largest fleet of machine vision devices around the world. “We want Lima to help farmers improve their production and help the climate with machine vision. We have the incredible support of Kenyan growers and global logistics companies to do it together.” he says.

Lima is currently fundraising. With a successful raise last year, they are now looking to expand and scale their team to serve their partner farms demand which includes over 600 hectares of horticulture and poultry in Kenya.