Vodafone helps connect flour mills in Africa with IoT technology
Vodafone’s IoT connectivity would allow mills to provide fortified flour to millions of people in African countries
U.K.-based telecom group Vodafone is currently working with Sanku (Project Healthy Children) to equip small flour mills across Africa with internet of things (IoT) services to provide fortified flour to millions of people in the continent.
Sanku would provide real-time insights to 3,000 small-scale flour mills in Africa over the next four years, with Vodafone’s global IoT SIM and USB Connect technology.
Sanku said that IoT technology will help it to significantly scale the program and improve its efficiency. Sanku has created a technology dubbed “dosifier” – which enables small African flour mills in rural areas to fortify flour during the milling process to make the four more nutritious, in a way that is sustainable and cost-effective.
In the past, one Sanku worker could only monitor 25 mills, which would fortify flour to feed 125,000 people. With Vodafone’s IoT SIM, Sanku says it can connect the same worker to 100 mills, which will fortify flour for 500,000 people. The Sanku worker receives alerts remotely and in real-time when the mills run out of fortified flour or require maintenance.
“Our dosifier has been incredibly successful to date, bringing fortified flour to communities in need across the developing world,” said Sanku Co-founder and CEO Felix Brooks-church, in a statement. “Vodafone’s IoT technology gives us the ability to significantly optimize and scale operations. Sanku currently helps provide fortified flour to around one million people and, with this new IoT connection, we are on a path to reach 100 million people by 2025.”
Sanku dosifiers now can provide secure connectivity with Vodafone’s IoT SIM. The U.K carrier said its in-country roaming reaches the most remote areas, allowing access to real-time information on maintenance, power supply and machine tracking via GPS. Sanku said that it can accurately monitor fortification levels to ensure communities are receiving the benefits of fortified flour.
There’s also a payment component: Vodafone said its M-Pesa mobile money service is being used to enable millers in Africa to make and receive payments on their smartphones.
Vodafone and Sanku are currently in the process of rolling out Vodafone’s global IoT SIM and USB Connect technology to local flour mills in Tanzania and Rwanda, and will continue to implement the technology across Eastern and Southern Africa.
“Our project with Sanku is a perfect example of how the internet of things can improve people’s lives and help make a difference in even the poorest of communities. Connected technology gives Sanku the ability to significantly enhance efficiencies, enabling fortified flour to be delivered to more communities, playing an important role in helping to end malnutrition,” Vodafone Group Enterprise CEO Brian Humphries said.