BlumbangReksa, Solutions for the Control of Water Quality in Shrimp Farms
December 7, 2015 - Uncategorized
Solutions for the Control of Water Quality in Shrimp Farms
Shrimp farming is a significant contributor in marine productions and Indonesian economy as a whole. Farmed shrimp export to several countries reached 250 thousand tonnes in 2014 (http://ekonomi.metrotvnews.com, 2014). But this production can still be increased by better water quality management.
The biggest problem in shrimp farming is the changes in the water quality caused by the weather or internal conditions in the ponds. Water conditions have to be monitored routinely to acertain the pond conditions. However, the available measuring devices are impractical because they usually require manual measurements whereas water conditions can change anytime. Problems are usually detected by an increase mortality, which also means that loss has occured. And if the problems persist, crop failures threaten the farmers’ livelihood.
The development in research for applicable technology for the populace is very rare in Indonesia. We do not have a robust culture in research with only 205 researchers per million inhabitants. This number is very low compared to those in Japan (5573/million) or Singapore (6088/million). The slow progress in technology in the country can also be seen from the amount of funding the government provides for research. Indonesian government spends only 0.08% of its GDP on research compared to 3.40% by the Japanese and 4.04% by the South Korean governments.
ATNIC is a group of Electrical Engineering students from Gadjah Mada University and has beed developing smart applications in the agricultural and environmental fields since the end 2014. Their efforts have been receiving supports from Indmira, a research-based agricultural and environmental company. Calling their technology BlumbangReksa, they are developing a device that can monitor pond environments such as temperature, air humidity, salinity, oxygen content, total dissolved solids and pH for 24 hours.
The device is in the form of Internet of Thing (IoT) that monitors the ponds for 24 hours a day. It is equipped with a GSM module and internet and provides a ready access at all times. BlumbangReksa technology enables us to detect abnormalities in water quality at the earliest possible time, and thus minimizes the risk of crop failures.With this device, farmers will be able to manage water quality optimally and the shrimp farming practice can be more environmentally friendly. It is especially important for foreign markets where they have strict antibiotic content restrictions.
Currently BlumbangReksa is geared for shrimp/fish farming, however it can be developed further into other agricultural and environmental fields. Hopefully this effort will get us closer to providing more technological innovations that are applicable for regular people in the fields. Becoming a self-sufficient country in technology may not only be a dream after all. (Le)