Empowering Women in Aquaculture : Summit University Collaborates with Toke's Farm

In the realm of aquaculture, traditionally a male-dominated industry, an extraordinary woman farmer, Hajia Ramat Omosanya, the founder of Toke's Farm, serves as a beacon of inspiration. Her remarkable journey is not only a testament to the power of determination and dedication but also highlights the transformative potential of female inclusion.

Hajia Ramat Omosanya, like many of us, found herself struggling with the boredom and uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. She needed an escape and found a way to channel her energy and creativity into something meaningful. She ventured into the world of farming, a decision that changed her life forever, courtesy of her bosom and good friend.

Her journey commenced with just two modest ponds, a small step that eventually led to an epic change. What started as a means to escape the monotony of lockdowns and restrictions soon became a passionate pursuit. Hajia Ramat, with her relentless determination, transformed those two ponds into a thriving aquaponic system producing fish and rice on the farm.

Today, as you step onto her farm, you are greeted by the sight of an astonishing 28 ponds, each brimming with life. The growth and expansion of her farm are nothing short of remarkable, a testament to her hard work, resilience, and unyielding commitment to excellence.

However, Hajia Ramat Omosanya's story is more than just about fish farming ; it's about breaking down gender barriers and embracing technology to revolutionize traditional practices. Her situation resembles the intersection of destiny and passion

Members of the Artificial Intelligence for Women in Aquaculture (AI4WA) team paid a visit to the farm and recognized her potential and the impact she could have on her community. The AI4WA team saw an opportunity to collaborate, marrying Hajia's hands-on experience with cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies.

This partnership marks the beginning of a new chapter in her farming career, one that will redefine and reshape the industry, thus leading to a world of endless possibilities.

This research project, funded by the Gender Responsive Artificial Intelligence Network (GRAIN), seeks to introduce AI into aquaculture within Sub-Saharan Africa. The primary goal of this GRAIN-funded project is to encourage more women to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields by actively involving them in AI-driven aquaculture research. This effort aims to break down gender barriers and inspire the next generation of female scientists and technologists in the field of Aquaculture.

Beyond promoting gender equality, this partnership is committed to unlocking the potentials of women in skills and national development. Hence, the need to introduce Hajia to the world of Artificial Intelligence and its applications in aquaculture. With the institution's support, she will experience the power of AI-driven solutions to monitor and manage ponds more efficiently. Remote sensing, data analytics, and predictive algorithms are integral tools in the aquaculture farming system.

Prof. A. M. Aibinu, the principal investigator and the Vice-Chancellor, Summit University, Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria, emphasized during the visit that embracing technology to revolutionize traditional practices is more than just about fish farming but also breaking down gender barriers. AI will play a pivotal role in making aquaculture more sustainable by optimizing resource usage and minimizing environmental impact. He further highlighted that universities at the forefront of AI in aquaculture have the opportunity to lead the development of eco-friendly aquaculture solutions, attracting environmentally conscious students and researchers, further enhancing the industry's sustainability.

During the visit, the co-investigator, Mrs. Mutiat Muhammed, emphasized that embracing AI integration in aquaculture with a focus on women will contribute to diversity, inclusion, sustainability, and innovation in the aquaculture sector. This, she opined, is pivotal for a more equitable and prosperous future.

 Other members of the AI4WA team on the visit to Toke's farm included Nafisat Lawal, Maryam Afolabi, Malik Ige, Salawudeen Aminah, Mr. Yusuf Sholola, and Mr. Taiwo Ogundeyi.