On-site air-to-fertilizer mini-plants relegated by sensor-based ICT technology to foster African agriculture
Project AFRICA is a research project funded by LEAP-Agri, which is a partnership between partners from 19 European and African countries and the EU aimed at research and innovation for food and nutrition security as well as sustainable agriculture, including aquaculture.
The project is to develop a green-energy driven technology solution to support the on-site fertiliser production in Africa, providing cost-affordable, green-made fertilisers to local small-scale farms. This will contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture and food systems in Africa. The proposed research is based on nitrogen fixation with non-thermal plasma technology. Using nothing else than air or N2/O2 (air with additional oxygen) as raw material, NOx (mixture of NO and NO2) is produced through the chemical reaction in plasma which is generated from a variety of renewable energy sources.
This research will enable the production of liquid fertilisers on demand to be applied directly to the soil, dissolved into irrigation water for foliar application.The use of sensor technology attached to mobile devices will be explored to monitoring the fertiliser production, and enhance the quality of soil and food. It is the medium to allow relegation of process monitoring to central computer systems to achieve maximum results. Even more, it is meant to provide rural farmers and more specifically bridging the gap of providing female rural farmers with the necessary knowledge and insights. This opens door to remote control of the Fertiliser production by the African farmer as well as to machine-to-machine communication for
mutual optimisation and to contact experts (e.g. in Europe) for advice/interaction in case of non-proper function.