Despite the crisis facing horticulture, there is no shortage of innovations in the sector. More to the point, horticulture simply can no longer do without technological advances.
Technological greenhouse from above
One example is the Sicilian cultivation company Agroenergie, which grows strawberries and blueberries in Chiaramonte Gulfi and several varieties of tomatoes in Vittoria. In Chiaramonte Gulfi, in its second year of cultivation, the company built a high-tech and innovative 4,400 m2 metal greenhouse with a photovoltaic roof whose motorized openings are managed by Lualtek sensors.
In Vittoria, Agroenergie grows cherry tomatoes, cherry plum tomatoes, Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes, and some specialties on 50,000 m2 in metal greenhouses, with another 35,000 m2 under construction. In a 10,000 m2 photovoltaic greenhouse, an experiment will start in April with tomatoes under nets, partly on coconut substrate and partly in open ground. In both cases, fertigation is automated.
Luca Occhipinti (Lualtek) and Matteo Baglieri (Agroenergie Soc. Agr. Srl)
"Although the cultivation company is fairly recent, we have already finished two seasons with a profit, and the growth prospects are very good," says CEO Matteo Baglieri. "We managed to immediately launch our product in Italy and abroad. A big help came from the technological setting of our cultivation facilities. For example, we were able to save on many electricity costs by installing solar panels."
Lualtek provides cultivation optimization and labor savings. "The sensors allow immediate and direct response to plant growth," adds Baglieri. "By programming and managing the climate (humidity and temperature), we need to use fewer personnel. Lualtek's system also allows remote management of the parameters. Based on the experience gained so far, we plan to implement new technological and digital equipment with Lualtek. To them, we will entrust the installation of new sensors for conductivity to even better control fertigation."
For more information:
Agroenergie Soc. Agr. Srl
By Energiainrete SpA.
Matteo Baglieri Presidente CDA
Via G. Falcone 16 - Comiso (RG)