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New technologies at the service of the tomato industry

The Agro-food Technological Centre of Extremadura (Ctaex), together with entities of other Spanish regions, is participating in the project "Smartom", which aims to put new technologies at the service of the tomato industry; a key sector for Extremadura.

As explained to Efe by Ctaex ​​project technician Jesús Gil, the group seeks to combine the solutions and new technologies provided by different entities in this agricultural area, striving for maximum efficiency throughout the crop cycle with the optimisation of the use of water and agrochemicals or the improvement of logistics, among other aspects.

Experts in telecommunications, big data, artificial intelligence, image, drones, crops or cooperatives from regions like Galicia, Extremadura or Andalusia are taking part in this project, aiming to contribute "all the possible tools" for a system that can be used by farms, cooperatives and producers.

Thanks to this tool, the producers will be able to know what the plant needs, when is the best time to irrigate or use fertilizers, or what are the risks involved in the spread of a given pest or disease.

Thanks to an application compatible with all devices, producers will receive alerts and recommendations that will allow for significant economic and environmental savings.

For example, in the case of pests and diseases, the focus will be on general predictive algorithms based on historical data, climate and environment, making it possible to calculate probabilities.

There will also be multispectral images for information to focus on a particular pest.

Moreover, the use of drones or modern image captures will make it possible to identify specific plots.

Gil has stated that Ctaex's contribution to the project is "very important" in aspects such as irrigation, fertilization, varieties or the use of new technologies in tomato cultivation.

The goal is to create a tool that can be used by growers in Spain and in other countries.

The creation of the operational group, work plan or objectives are already established in an initiative that is part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, within the National Program for Rural Development 2014-20.

Source: EFE
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