In Summary
  • Technology can also run drip irrigation.
  • Power back-up is required just in case of black-outs.
  • Apart from draining the ponds, the BSR can be used to run an irrigation system, setting the time when water is to flow in drip and sprinkler systems.
  • Phillip Adamba has patented the gadget at the Kenya Industrial Property Institute, calling it BSR.

Standing next to a fish pond on a farm in Kapsaret, Eldoret, Philip Adamba fidgets on his smart phone endlessly.

Soon, the phone rings and water starts to flow immediately from three taps into the fish ponds.

It looks like magic for first-timers, but for Adamba, this is his life. The young innovator has developed a mobile phone system that allows farmers to monitor and control their fish farms.

They do this by dialling codes that send signals to a gadget fitted with a sim-card next to the fish pond.

On this day, Adamba, 27, was at a fish farm belonging to Philip Maritim, 66, one of the farmers using the system.

The farm has four ponds with tilapia and ornamental fish. He also has three aquariums.

“Maritim only needs to dial a number and then key commands like switching taps on or off,” he says.

Adamba dropped out of the African Institute of Research and Development Studies in Eldoret, where he had enrolled for a diploma in electrical engineering in 2007.

It took him about 10 years to develop the gadget. In that time, he bought 30 new phones at an average of Sh3,000 each which he dismantled to find out how they work.

And last year, after testing it and discovering that it was working well, he patented the gadget. It has a circuit, a Sim-card and a battery.

“A phone is not just a gadget for communication but it can also be used to irrigate a farm, water and even drain a fish pond by dialling a number,” says Adamba.


He has installed the system for 15 farmers in Eldoret, Kitale and Nakuru. 

Maritim embraced it last October and paid Sh15,000 for it.

An automated fish pond in Maritim's farm in Uasin Gishu.

An automated fish pond in Maritim's farm in Uasin Gishu. The farm has four ponds with tilapia and ornamental fish and three aquariums. PHOTO | STANLEY KIMUGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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