MUST PG student patents project
A Master of Science student in Innovation at the Malawi University of Science and Technology, Goodall Salima, has secured a patent for his GSP guided seed planter technology, bringing to four the number of patents secured by the university in 2022.
The others are Digital Braille Keyboard (by a community member) aimed assisting the blind to read printed material; Katswiri learning app (by an undergraduate student) aimed at assisting students to learn better in class; and Kangaroo mother care gown (by a PG student) that facilitates the bonding of mother and premature born baby in Kangaroo position.
Salima, who defended his thesis late last month, was being supervised by Director of Science, Technology and Innovation at Ministry of Education Professor Chomora Mikeka.
A computer scientist by profession, Salima said he was excited with the development as it fulfills one of his life dreams of creating something that will make an impact on society.
“I had a growing interest in the Internet of Things and I was very keen to do my research in that area. The drive to have a high impact project drove me to explore ways on how best to come up with a solution that could be adopted by small and medium-sized maize farmers,” said Salima.
The hand GPS planter offers medium scale smallholder farmers a mechanism of planting grain crops (maize or groundnuts) while at the same time collecting data such as the number of seeds planted, and the location planted.
“The data collected it stored on the cloud and presented on a dashboard and gives the farmer and other interested parties a better platform for decision and/or policy making. The dashboard includes information such as date of planting, farmer and/or farm name(s), farm size, farm geological map layered on google map,” said Salima.
It also has features such as solar charger, battery level status bar, on/off button. sound buzzer, and LED lights to indicate if the functionalities are working properly, GPS tracking sensor and seed counter sensor.
Salima’s innovation came out of his thesis, titled: “Internet of Things (IoT) and Geographical Information System (GIS) integration, a gateway to precision agriculture for small and medium-sized maize farmers in Malawi”.
His research produced a working prototype and through the technology development and intellectual property system at MUST, it secured patent number MW/P/2022/25 through the office the Registrar General.
Salima’s innovation was one of the six that is being showcased on February 2 and 3 in Lilongwe at the National Development Conference organized by the Natioonal Planning Commission and presided over by His Excellency President Lazarus Chakwera.
The others are Drone X (drone used for precise checking of crop health and application of inputs), IoT baby monitor, digital braille keyboard, water light bulb and Msika pa Lamya (a digital marketing platform for farmers and buyers of agriculture produce). @ndizotheka, @mustmalawi, @CATMalawi