This post was written by guest blogger Azellia Alma Shafira. Alma Shafira is a final year business student who loves to explore new things. She has won several medals in equestria, led the press organization both in high school and university, co-founded a creative house called BikinBareng Creative, and done a research about organic water filter using banana peel. The research became what compelled her to join the Banoo team, an innovation that helps improve quality of water for the sake of a productive and sustainable aquaculture. Banoo was the people’s choice winner in the 2019 Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge.
To hear more from Alma Shafira, please check out her presentation at Cisco’s Women Rock IT event Rise of Women Technopreneurs
I live in Indonesia, an archipelago with more than 17,000 islands inhabited by more than 200 million. The whole world says our nation is paradise, because we have so many natural resources at our disposal. And yet, a lot of people are still struggling to earn a penny day by day. A lot of people still don’t have easy access to basic needs such as food. This predicament can only be eradicated if the people have the willingness and ability to earn money by themselves. A decentralized economy that relies more on its household income capabilities rather than big corporation’s profits provides that opportunity. I have been dreaming of creating a solution to make people in rural areas have a steady income with the help of technology. That is actually what cemented my decision to be a business student.
Yes, I am a business student and I have no technology or engineering education background. Yet, I am constantly dealing with innovative technology development. I met Fajar, a mechanical engineering graduate, Ari, an instrumental electronics student, and Hary who majors in fishery. Through our discussion and input of each discipline, we put together a solution to Indonesia’s most overlooked yet urgent issue: aquaculture. It turns out that the current traditional method fish farmers use for cultivating fishes in ponds are quite concerning, both for their livelihood and for the environment. The unmaintained water quality creates water waste that contains chemicals such as ammonia and carbon dioxide. When the water waste is dumped after the harvesting time, it can damage the waters and earth and even harm the living creatures around it. With this consideration in mind, we developed an IoT-based aquaculture productivity booster we called Banoo.
Banoo integrates microbubble generator, IoT sensor, solar panel, cloud computing, and mobile app to create a new aquaculture ecosystem that is “best for both worlds”. This is where we are different from other aquaculture innovations. Most of them focus on boosting a pond’s productivity through automation and artificial intelligence such as automatic fish feeding and data-driven decision making. These technologies are very helpful in the respective problems they are trying to solve and are proven to improve the efficiency of fish production. Yet they do not address post-cultivation externalities. Traditional methods don’t consider environmental issues and none of the new technology solutions address it either. Our solution kills two birds with one stone, improving the quality of the water and output at the same time.
How does it work? As Hary said, fish needs oxygen for their metabolism. Lack of oxygen will cause the fish to lose its appetite, resulting in uneaten fish feed that settles to the bottom of the water. The food waste causes nitrification that creates dangerous chemicals mentioned above. This waste water is dangerous when dumped in natural waterways.. This is why our technology deals with oxygen level enhancement. When oxygen in deep water gets below the lower limit, our sensor will immediately give a signal to the microbubble generator to sprout microbubbles, thus increasing the dissolved oxygen quickly. The data on water quality is stored in the cloud and can be monitored through our mobile app. When oxygen has reached its optimum level, fish will eat more, grow quicker and bigger, and the waste water contains less uneaten fish feed, so it’s easier on the local environment.
Banoo aims to change the way fish farmers cultivate with the help of sustainable technology. As the energy source, we install solar panels at the fish farm area so that Banoo can be used anywhere, even in rural areas where there is no electricity. The benefits of Banoo are not limited to household fish farmers, Banoo can also help the whole aquaculture industry, even big companies because our technology has a large economies of scale. With our mobile app, we also aim to educate fish farmers and everyone about aquaculture and its importance to improve people’s livelihood and Indonesia’s economy.