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Smart irrigation system technology for efficient water Management.

Smart irrigation system technology has been developed for efficient use of water in the country.

The Agriculture Research and Development Center (ARDC) at Wengkhar in Mongar under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests is currently adopting and promoting smart irrigation system in agriculture.

The technology is being developed from open sources: both hardware and software so that anyone can build, modify and improve the system freely.

The Principal Research Officer of ARDC in Wengkhar, Tshering Penjor, said that the smart irrigation system controls the various irrigation zones that help to conserve water resources effectively. It uses the real time climatic data such as temperature, humidity, and rainfall and soil moisture to control irrigation system in agriculture. He said though Bhutan is rich in fresh water resources, due to the effects of climate change and rapid urbanization, clean water resources were diminishing by the day and becoming difficult to access. 'Efficient water management system through use of proper technology is required for sustainable use of this precious resource,' he said.

An important feature of the smart irrigation system is that it can be connected to the internet and control irrigation from anywhere in the world through mobile apps and personal computer It is applicable for drip and sprinkler irrigation methods in small to largescale commercial farming, sprinkler and pop-up irrigation methods in golf and landscaping areas and also in greenhouse irrigation and automation of hydroponic and aeroponic systems.

The system can be also used in cities and towns for low cost automated water distribution and monitoring system.

A controller including 50Watt solar panel, Wi-Fi modem and battery would cost about Nu 35,000 to Nu 40,000. It will also save labor cost and water bill for large-scale irrigation farms and projects. 'We hope that the use of water saving technologies such as smart irrigation system will increase in the future to reduce unnecessary water wastage,' said Tshering Penjor.

The system was developed two years back. Currently, the technology is used in Thimphu, Wangduephodrang and Mongar and there are plans to implement it in Trashiyangtse.

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Publication:Business Bhutan (Thimphu, Bhutan)
Date:Dec 8, 2018
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