Utrecht, The Netherlands
Georgios Agkavanakis, Franco Grosso Giordano, Janin Herkrath, Yurhan Kwee, Emma Luitjens, Rushi Sanjeev Mehta,
This University of Utrecht-based team created an automated, open-source design to protect tea plants from frost damage. Climate change has resulted in more unpredictable night frosts in Kenya, which damages tea plantations and leads to economic losses and unstable incomes for farmers. Inspired by the giant groundsel (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari) and giant lobelia (Lobelia deckenii) plants, both native to Kenya, the team developed HABARI to automatically deploy a mesh where frost deposits, covering the plants and preventing the frost from settling on the leaves. HABARI increases farmers’ resilience to weather conditions, and connects the farms with the local community by using local and sustainable products.