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INESC TEC wants to increase water use efficiency in agriculture

Increasing water use efficiency and resilience in agriculture, and monitoring soil and water in order to reduce pollution, are the challenges facing INESC TEC as part of its new project called AgriSensus.

For 36 months, the AgriSensus team has about one million euros to develop optical sensors which will be used in fertigation equipment. This equipment will make it possible to automatically control water flow and optimise the application of fertilisers. Additionally, the goal with this project is to produce low cost biosensors to identify commonly used chemicals for crop protection. The technologies developed will then be evaluated in certified facilities and laboratories in the Netherlands and Sweden and demonstrated in crops grown in protected environments (greenhouses) in Portugal, the Netherlands and Spain, and in an open field in Turkey.

Developed in collaboration with INESC TEC’s Centre for Robotics and Intelligent Systems (CRIIS) and Centre for Applied Photonics (CAP), AgriSensus - Integrated Monitoring and Control of Water, Nutrients and Plant Protection Products Towards a Sustainable Agricultural Sector - is expected to start in April 2017.

José Boaventura Cunha is the project’s leading researcher and Josenalde Barbosa de Oliveira the scientific leader. Both are researchers at CRIIS and working at INESC TEC’s facilities at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), in Vila Real.

In addition to INESC TEC, AgriSensus features the following institutions as partners: Faculty of Science of the University of Porto (Portugal), Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands), Turkish Water Institute (Turkey), EGE University and EGE Life Sciences (Turkey), Riegos y Tecnología (Spain) and the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (Sweden).

The project is also supported by Sarspec (Portugal), Bayer CropScience (Netherlands) and LTO Glaskracht Nederland (a Dutch producers' organisation).


The researchers mentioned in this article are associated with  INESC TEC  and UTAD.


INESC TEC, December 2016



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