In recent years, the fusion of technology and agriculture has given rise to revolutionary innovations. The aquaculture sector is no exception to this wave of transformation, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing a leading role in reshaping its future. Women are increasingly being asked to play a central role in this revolution, hence the idea of Artificial Intelligence for Women in Aquaculture (AI4WA).
Summit University Offa, in collaboration with Offa's Atom College of Fisheries and Agricultural Technology, is set to create an inclusive environment in the growing aquaculture sector. The partnership aims to attract a diverse talent pool, stimulate economic growth through innovative AI-based solutions in aquaculture, marking the birth of AquaAI.
Both institutions are strategically positioned to meet the growing global demand for seafood by training graduates skilled in AI applications for aquaculture. Summit University is dedicated to training skilled AI professionals, while Atom College specialises in aquaculture expertise. Together, they are ready to collaborate and train aquaculture experts with in-depth knowledge of artificial intelligence.
This collaboration, funded by the Gender Responsive Artificial Intelligence Network (GRAIN) as part of the "Artificial Intelligence in Aquaculture" initiative, aims to introduce AI into aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa. The main objective of the GRAIN-funded project is to encourage more women to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields by actively involving them in AI-based aquaculture research. This effort aims to break down gender barriers and inspire the next generation of women scientists and technologists in the aquaculture space.
As well as promoting gender equality, the partnership is committed to pioneering research in Offa and offers skills development and certification courses in AquaTech and AquaAI. AI enables accurate monitoring of aquatic ecosystems, fish health and feeding processes, improving the sustainability and efficiency of aquaculture practices. Hence the need for strategic collaboration, as both institutions are poised to disrupt the aquaculture ecosystem with their diverse perspectives and innovations.
During a visit to Atom College, Professor A. M. Aibinu, principal investigator and vice-chancellor of the university, stressed that AI will play a key role in making aquaculture more sustainable by optimising the use of resources and minimising the impact on the environment.
He also stressed that universities at the forefront of AI in aquaculture have the opportunity to lead the development of ecological and sustainable aquaculture.
During the visit, co-researcher Ms Mutiat Muhammed emphasised that integrating AI into aquaculture, with a focus on women, enables institutions to reap many benefits. Their contributions to diversity, inclusion, sustainability and innovation in the aquaculture sector are essential for a more equitable and prosperous future. Alh. Tajudeen Ajibola, owner of Atom College, confirmed that this collaboration demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to driving positive change in the sector. Other members of the AI4WA team who visited Atom College were Nafisat Lawal, Maryam Afolabi, Malik Ige and Salawudeen Aminah.