Project final report

A traffic light soil water sensor for resource poor farmers: proof of concept -​ Final Report

Date released
07 July 2021
Publication Code

R. Stirzaker, N. Car and M. Chilundo


In Africa, irrigation is largely under-developed and innovations are needed to help small-scale farmers manage their irrigation water. This project's main objectives were to assess the sensor’s accuracy, develop a robust handheld interface, and develop mobile phone apps to collect and display the sensor’s data.

This study was the first step to delivering technology to such farmers by road testing a prototype sensor that measures soil moisture and gives an output resembling a traffic light: green (meaning plenty of water), orange (transition state), or red (running out of water). The research tested the usefulness and acceptability of the sensor to African smallholder farmers.

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