SOUTH AFRICA – South African agritech startup Omniolytics, has developed a suit of smart farming solution for emerging and commercial poultry farmers in the country.

The digital farming platform, OmnioFarm, is aimed to enable poultry farmers make informed, real-time decisions on potential threats and forecast dangers within the broiler house facility.

The solution is powered by IBM’s Watson and machine learning capabilities to identify and learn the typical behaviour of birds, thereby improving management practices.

It uses Internet of Things (IoT) to collect data on the environmental conditions of production facilities, day-to-day management activities and processes of poultry, to improve animal health, mitigate losses and assist producers in improving production efficiency to help address food security concerns.

The launch is timely given that the South African local poultry industry has recently been facing a myriad of challenges, from high feed prices, market flooding with imports and the recurrence of avian influenza and diseases such as listeriosis and salmonellosis.

“Local farmers have to be enabled to be globally competitive and the best way to do that is through technology. IBM Cloud and AI ensure we have a platform to help farmers across South Africa use precision agriculture to enhance the efficiency of their production.

“We’re introducing solutions to the market which help improve feed conversion ratios, mortality and growth rates and benchmarking practices across their production facilities. This will ensure accurate future predictions across the value chain and make poultry farming more sustainable,” says Omniolytics founder, Michael Samson.

With OmnioFarm, farmers are given early warnings on potential issues, making their processes more efficient and improving production standards.

The system collects, processes, analyses, and visualizes comprehensive insights collected from integrated wireless sensors, coupled with production records and activities across the production cycle, reports Ventureburn.

“Local farmers have to be enabled to be globally competitive and the best way to do that is through technology.”

Omniolytics Founder – Michael Samson

DataViz, their foundation product, draws data from wireless sensors placed in the chicken broiler house to monitor the environmental conditions including air and water quality as well as lighting.

These sensors will provide data via IoT platforms to the DataViz platform, digitally capturing facilities environmental conditions and production records while also scheduling activities, setting thresholds and notifications.

The platform also captures live and historic trends in real-time and can also be accessed over a mobile device or computer.

It embeds intelligence and helps manage end-to-end processes using data, analytics and machine learning, guiding farmers in adopting prescribed practices, understanding deviations, identifying potential threats and predicting performance against targets.

Working with the IBM Cloud PaaS and machine learning APIs, the OmnioFarm platform will help this sector to ensure higher levels of animal health and efficiency, ensuring sustainable agricultural productivity.

Craig Holmes, Technology Leader of IBM SA says, “Agriculture plays a crucial role in the success of our local economy and through the EEIP programme we’ve been able to support Omniolytics at a critical stage of their business growth.

“By improving access to IBM’s Cloud and AI technologies and increasing the adoption of a range of digital solutions as we incubate and support startups, we’ve set out to not only support local demand but also ensure our entrepreneurs become globally competitive.”

IBM supports Omniolytics with a blend of financial and non-financial support towards the development of the OmnioFarm platform – helping Omniolytics provide advanced technology services that are commercially ready.

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