Saving water when growing zucchini, aubergines and cucumbers is possible. Agribologna has launched the "Sapience" project, financed by EIT Climate KIC, of which the Agribologna Consortium is an active member, in collaboration with the 'Fondazione Bruno Kessler' (FBK) of Trento and Tessa Agritech srl. The field tests take place at the producers' sites in the areas of Bologna and Rimini.
"Sapience stands out also for the chosen experimental methods. It consists of a double-blind trial," said Valentino Chiarini, responsible for the technical and agronomic assistance of Agribologna. "In essence, two identical soils and two identical crops are compared, referring to the same farmer. The first will be treated in the traditional way. The second will be irrigated according to the experimental methods, based on constant monitored data arriving from networks connected to sensors and information transmission."
The Sapience project is aimed at experimenting and activating virtuous practices of 'precision farming' which, through continuous monitoring and mapping of the phenological evolution of crops, based on soil and air humidity, climatic conditions and the presence of dew, informs the farmer in real time of the effective irrigation needs.
"The real challenge facing us today and also in the future - commented Lauro Guidi, President of Agribologna - is that of the integrating the latest and most advanced technological innovations into our production processes. We are sure that we can and must improve the quality, productivity and sustainability of our agriculture."
"We want to make it possible for our members, also through dedicated training, to intervene at the right time, in the right place, with the right technical means, with the right amount of resources, which will result in objective results, also in terms of crop quality. We share this vision especially with younger members and we are particularly delighted to be able to implement it, despite the pandemic."
Valentino Chiarini showing some testing tools
"We launched this pilot project in 2019, in the province of Trento, to encourage the use of natural resources in the viticulture and apple production sectors. The purpose of the project is to demonstrate what is widely documented in the literature, which is that a reasoned and modulated water distribution, in close relation to the needs of the soil and the relevant crop, is able to save 30-50% of water resources, reduce energy consumption, optimize the fertilizers and, above all, improve the quantity and quality of the crops."