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Startup Spotlight: Jordan-Based SmartWTI Offers Sustainable Water Solutions For Farmers To Operate Despite Arid Conditions Armed with a mission to help farmers maintain their businesses despite the region's aridity, SmartWTI designs and manufactures tech-driven water management solutions.

By Aalia Mehreen Ahmed Edited by Aby Thomas

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SmartWTI
Heba Asa'd, co-founder and CEO, SmartWTI

The following is a profile on one of the six startups that have been chosen to be in the second edition of PepsiCo's Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition- an annual program to support regional entrepreneurs or startups that are tackling a variety of climate-related challenges.

Out of the 17 most water-stressed countries in the world, 11 are in the MENA region. This statistic -which is undoubtedly concerning and distressing- is as per a 2021 report released by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). More recently, in an April 2023 study, the World Bank announced that the MENA region is currently facing an unprecedented water scarcity crisis. And it is this backdrop that Jordan-based startup SmartWTI operates. Armed with a mission to help farmers maintain their businesses despite the region's aridity, SmartWTI makes use of the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) to design and manufacture water management solutions.

"At SmartWTI, our integrated system collects and analyzes data to track water consumption, control usage, and predict future needs, thereby promoting sustainable water practices, and raising awareness about the importance of water as a limited resource," Heba Asa'd, co-founder and CEO of SmartWTI, says. "Our team has a deep understanding of the industry's challenges, and has therefore developed a gamechanging solution that not only enhances crop health and productivity, but also preserves vital resources. With our innovation, farmers are able to precisely measure variables like soil moisture and temperature on a real-time basis. Then, through advanced algorithms and data science methodologies, we analyze this data to provide them with actionable insights to make informed decisions. With fully automated irrigation practices, the system also delivers the exact amount of water required by each plant, at the right time and location, and quickly detects leaks, helping minimize water waste."

Source: Smart WTI

The product Asa'd refers to here is called the WTI Controller- an AI and IoT cloud solution that enables remote equipment monitoring, as well as control and management of water and other liquids, using a web and mobile application. The data that is gathered on the application is derived from a series of controllers that can detect factors like salinity and temperature of the water used, while also managing the amount of irrigation water, as well as water losses and leaks.

Related: Startup Spotlight: Lebanon-Based Dooda Solutions' Earthworm Farms Offer Eco-Friendly Fertilizer Alternatives To Farmers In The Region

Meanwhile, the application's adoption of IoT allows for data to be collected over a vast network without the need for any human interaction. "By providing advanced technologies, including precision irrigation systems, data analytics platforms, and consulting services, we are optimizing water usage, and achieving sustainable water management," Asa'd explains. "We are also conserving scarce water resources by providing real-time monitoring of soil moisture levels, weather conditions, and plant water requirements, which helps implement targeted irrigation strategies for local farmers, and alerts them to leaks. This is a valuable solution for our region, and particularly for Jordan, which has no oil resources, and a scarce water supply. In the long term, a solution like this helps make the region more food-secure, and preserves our natural resources."

Heba Asa'd, co-founder and CEO, SmartWTI. Source: Smart WTI

Since its launch in 2021 by Asa'd and her co-founder Omar Asa'd, SmartWTI has built a customer base that includes agricultural, industrial, as well as commercial clients. And having been selected as one of the six startups in PepsiCo's Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition this year, Asa'd and her team are laser-focused on what they wish to achieve next.

"Being a part of this program marks a significant milestone in expediting our growth," Asa'd says. "Over the next six months, our mission is clear: achieve tangible results that align with our vision and goals. We will refine our water management solutions based on insightful feedback from PepsiCo mentors and their partners, enhancing precision, efficiency, and scalability for the food and beverage industry. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our solutions in real-world scenarios, we'll also establish pilot projects and collaborations with PepsiCo and other participants, gaining valuable insights for market adoption, and operational expansion."

Meanwhile, looking to the long term, given that water scarcity set to continue to be a major concern for the region, Asa'd is absolutely clear about how she hopes to position her startup in the market in the future. "Ultimately, our aim is to position SmartWTI as the leading provider of innovative, data-driven water management technologies, empowering businesses to optimize resources, reduce costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future," she concludes.

Related: Startup Spotlight: Lebanon-Based Agritech YY Regen Aims To Transform How The Nation's Farming Sector Is Powered

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed

Features Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aalia Mehreen Ahmed is the Features Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East.

She is an MBA (Finance) graduate with past experience in the corporate sector, and was also co-founder of CyberSWIFTT- an anti-cyberbullying campaign that ran from 2017-2018 as part of the e7: Daughters of the Emirates program.

Ahmed is particularly keen on writing stories involving people-centric leadership, female-owned startups, and entrepreneurs who've beaten significant odds to realize their goals.

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