Plants have had and still have a key role in the history of life on earth. They are responsible for presence of oxygen needed for human survival on this planet. At the same time agriculture is also important to human beings because it forms the basis for food security. It helps human beings grow the most ideal food crops and raise the right animals with accordance to environmental factors. Agriculture plays a vital role in India's economy. Over 58% of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Agricultural export constitutes 10% of the country's exports. So the farmer's and even the nation's economy will be ruined if there are no proper yields due to lack of knowledge of the soil nature, timely unavailability of water. Thus the government should take steps for a better and profitable irrigation.
Have you ever wanted your plants to tell you when they need watered? Or know how saturated the soil in your garden is? The present project proposes an IoT enabled smart soil moisture monitoring system that helps the government authorities to know the information about dry soil areas in the agricultural lands within a village, town or even a state so that the necessary precautionary steps can be taken to make such lands fertile. Besides, the project is also very much useful for the farmers, organizations or individuals running plant nurseries to automatically turn the pumping motor ON and OFF on sensing the moisture content of the soil. The advantage of using this method is to reduce human intervention and still ensure proper irrigation.
This project is a very low cost and an innovative system to know the moisture level of the soil from a remote place. For this, the system uses GSM modem (for sending data to the cloud and the user) interfaced to the microcontroller. GSM modem with a SIM card implements the communication technique as in a regular cell phone. The system makes use of AVR microcontroller (Arduino UNO), soil moisture sensor. It is programmed to receive the input signal of varying moisture condition of the soil. The system is powered by a dc 5V.
Once the microcontroller receives this signal, it generates an output that will display the data of aridity (dryness) level of the soil on serial monitor. If the soil is very much dry, the system sends the information to the cloud platform at the data centre over the internet (via the GSM modem as gateway) and will also warn the user to water the soil. On the other hand, if the soil is having enough moisture, it informs the same. The sensing arrangement is made by using two stiff metallic rods inserted into the field at a distance. Connections from the metallic rods are interfaced to the control unit.
The cloud platform facilitates the data analytics and report generation options to view the status, i.e. the soil conditions at various places.