The University of Seville, Econatur and Solutia design a smart platform to implement a new eco-sustainable agriculture model
The iAgri project, which is funded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, is being coordinated by the Andalusian cluster OnTech Innovation
The agri-food industry is immersed in an unstoppable transformation process to adapt to the new habits and demands of consumers, who seek increasingly healthy and sustainable products. The implementation of a new eco-sustainable agriculture model, which guarantees the productivity, quality and sustainability of crops is precisely the objective of the ‘iAgri’ project, an industrial research initiative that is designing and developing an intelligent platform for storage, treatment and management of biomarkers and relevant indicators for agri-food production.
This platform -which will collect the data in an automated way through the combination of sensors or advanced processing stations, the application of data processing techniques on external sources and the addition of data by the farmer- will allow to reduce production costs, optimize handling agriculture (fertilizers, irrigation, pathogen control, harvest season, physiological adaptation of the crop to weather conditions) and certify the quality of food and the sustainability of agricultural production.
‘iAgri’, a project coordinated by OnTech and developed by the biotechnology company Econatur, the innovative solutions company Solutia Digital Health and the University of Seville, is developing an artificial intelligence algorithm that analyzes the data from sensors installed on the La Añoreta farm (Córdoba) and that emulates the knowledge of the experts to inform the farmer of the different situations that are occurring in the plantations. Specifically, data from different types of crops such as wheat, almond or tomato are processed and magnitudes such as environmental temperature, amount of rainfall, humidity, pressure or salinity are measured.
With these parameters and their subsequent analysis, the relationships that allow predicting risks such as pests, diseases, water stress, solar radiation stress, salinity stress, poor vegetative development or fruit set failure will be investigated. The algorithm must alert the farmer of the possible risks that may arise in the future, anticipating and thus allowing to avoid possible damage to the crops.
Another objective pursued by the iAgri project, financed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism through the support program for Innovative Business Groups, is to determine whether the crop is sustainable or not by analyzing the measurements of the sensors. The function of the artificial intelligence system will be to assess the situation and notify the farmer to take the appropriate measures indicated by the experts.
One of the main values of this project is to make tools available to agri-food SMEs that are available to large companies and that otherwise would be difficult to manage. Small agricultural producers will be able to take advantage of all the data collected in the platform’s databases to optimize production and receive assistance in decision-making, promoting the quality and productivity of their crops.
SMEs that distribute and sell these agri-food products will also clearly benefit. The ‘iAgri’ project will develop a certification standard for eco-sustainable agriculture based on productivity, nutritional quality and environmental sustainability data, which will allow distributors to easily homologate suppliers.
Finally, this industrial research initiative will also benefit the end consumer, who will be able to obtain healthier and higher quality products, in nearby distribution channels, at reasonable prices and with the added value of knowing that the purchase of these products has an impact on the sustainability of both the physical and socio-economic environment.
The project ‘Development of an intelligent platform for the implementation of a new production model of eco-sustainable agriculture (iAgri)’ is being coordinated by OnTech Innovation, the largest digital economy group in Andalusia.
The development of the industrial research initiative is led by the innovation area of Econatur, a biotechnology-based company focused on research and generation of knowledge applied to the eco-sustainable agriculture sector; Solutia Digital Health, a technology company focused on software development and systems integration with the most advanced technologies; and the University of Seville.