Challenge:

Unable to afford electronic salinity testers, most smallholder shrimp farmers in developing countries gauge the salinity of their ponds by tasting the water. This unreliable testing method often leads to a loss of more than half of the hatchery-reared, post-larvae shrimp the farmers purchase annually, using credit. They are often left with a yield incommensurate with their level of labor, holding them in a cycle of poverty.

Innovation:

Odyssey Sensors, in collaboration with Definium Technologies, developed and field-tested a low-cost (<$30), solar-powered, handheld salinity sensor with the potential to double smallholder shrimp farmers’ crop yields and incomes, in less than one year. The novelty of the HealthyShrimp Salinity Sensor is grounded in its affordability, durability and accuracy.

Impact:

One million smallholder shrimp farms in the Indian Ocean region and another 2.5 million worldwide need an affordable way to measure the salinity of their ponds, and the HealthyShrimp Salinity Sensor has the potential to rapidly double shrimp yields. Accurate pond salinity-management reduces the widespread destruction, contamination and pressure of unmeasured salt incursion on fragile ecosystems (such as mangrove forests) and fertile farmland.