• Rounding up the herd

    Rounding up the herd

    An innovative tracking technology is poised to help livestock owners in Kenya combat cattle theft.

    According to Quartz Africa, many of the country’s livestock graze in open ranges where they are at risk of rustling and exposed to disease. Tracking system Chipsafer – developed by social enterprise IEETECH – will enable farmers to remotely identify and geolocate individual livestock.

    It uses receivers placed about 8 km to 30 km apart, which then pick up signals from wireless sensors attached to the animals as tags or collars. Equipped with GPS and accelerometers, the sensors transmit data about the cattle’s location, speed and movement patterns to the IEETECH server, which is then delivered to users in real time.

    Farmers will receive warnings if their animals are outside a specified area or if an anomaly is detected. ‘You can tell a lot about an animal through geolocation and movement,’ says Victoria Alonsoperez, IEETECH founder and CEO. ‘Different diseases cause animals to behave differently. We’re working on algorithms to tell us exactly what that anomaly is, based on the behavior of the animal.’

    Chipsafer has been trialled in pilot programmes in Namibia and Kenya. The Chipsafer service will start on a subscription basis for around US$3 per head per month, depending on country and herd size.

    27 February 2018
    Image: Gallo/Getty images