Esther Kimani: Innovator Of Device That Detects Crops Diseases And Pests At Early Stages

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Esther Kimani: Innovator Of Device That Detects Crops Diseases And Pests At Early Stages
Esther Kimani Photocredit/Courtesy

Esther Kimani is the founder and Managing Director (MD) of Farmer-Life-Line Technologies Limited. The agritech company has created a device that helps farmers detect crop diseases and pests at early stages. The technology has seen her scoop various awards including being featured in the Comesa Innovation Awards and recently winning the COP27 awards.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Farmer Lifeline Technologies

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The agritech company has developed a Crop Pest & Disease Detection Device (CDD) which detects crop diseases at an early stage and sends a text message to the farmer.

The device is connected to an online API database to enable it to send a recommendation of the fertilizer or chemical to apply for the detected crop disease or pest. These device has revolutionized the farming industry saving millions of shillings that farmers use in late treatment of their crops.

During a past interview, Esther Kimani who is the founder and MD of the company revealed that the innovation was inspired by the need to find a reliable solution to the prevalent destruction of crops by pests and diseases. The device comes with an inbuilt camera that uses solar power and is able to withstand the rainy seasons.

“The camera system is programmed to capture images of the crops in the field periodically and process the images using advanced computer vision algorithms to determine the nature of the infection or infestation, any pests or pathogens,” she explained.

The battery lasts for 48 hours and it is able to detect pests and crop diseases over a 730 meters radius.

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In September 2021, the device won the Comesa Innovation Awards held in the 8th Comesa Annual Research. Exactly a year later on 8th September 2022, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame honored Esther Kimani for her innovative idea that is changing the face of farming.

This was during the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize (Africa Food Prize Ceremony) that saw the entrepreneur walk away with a grand prize of Ksh 6 million. In the same month, the startup was among the winners of the 8th edition of Pitch AgriHack which attracted applicants across 37 African countries.

The company won the Women-led Agribusiness category walking away with a cash prize of USD10,000. In November 2022, Farmer-Life-Line Technologies was among 20 enterprises from Africa (3 from Kenya) that shared a USD 2 million grant in the COP27 conference held in Egypt. The three Kenyan Startups, Farmers-Life-Line Technologies, Agritech Analytics and Kisumeo Organics Limited, were each awarded U$100,000 after they were shortlisted for the Africa Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge. The programme is jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Global Centre on Adaptation and Climate Investment Funds. Other awards the company has won include the AWIEF African awards and TotalStartUpper awards.

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