Netafim is the forefront of developing a precision-irrigation platform that allows growers and the wider community to benefit from cutting-edge developments in irrigation technology.
The FIGARO project is coordinated by Netafim and comprises 17 organizations from eight different countries, including a number of academic and commercial leaders in the field of irrigation and is co-funded by the European Union. The project, which is due to conclude in September this year with its closing event in Israel, has provided magnificent results and Figaro’s outputs will serve future planning and product development at Netafim, as well as many of the other commercial partners in the project. The efficient and effective use of water in irrigation systems is of critical importance for sustainable agricultural development, food security and overall economic growth, particularly in light of global population increase, climate change and the competing demand for water from other economic sectors. The decreased availability of freshwater for agriculture and the increased energy costs represent a challenge and a priority for generations to come.
The FIGARO platform improves the efficiency of water use at farm scale level. This system has been developed and tested in 11 field sites in different countries, climates, soils and using different crops, to ensure that the final product is efficient and of great potential benefit for growers.
FIGARO runs the crop model periodically during the season (each 1-7 days) and each time uses the most up to date meteorological data from local weather stations and forecast models. It also uses real rain events and irrigation events from local sensors in the field and thus, after running the AquaCrop model, provides the most up to date irrigation recommendation for the coming week.
The central Netafim focus is to develop and promote the use of the uManage system, which collects data captured by soil water sensors and meteorological stations. This is then fed into crop models, using real-time and forecasted data. uManage then provides accurate recommendations on how much and when farmers should irrigate by taking a smart, sophisticated system and treating it as a black box giving a simple screen which is constantly updated and gives the grower an erudite system which is easy to use, for maximum yield. Figaro partners include: Agora Partners, Israel, Agrosesn, Denmark; CER, Italy; C-Tech Innovation, UK; UN FAO; Hydrologic, the Netherlands; Hidromod, Portugal; Orev, Denmark; Universities in Israel, Greece; Denmark; Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands and, of course Netafim. Funding has come from the European Union.
Flexible and Precision IrriGation
PlAtform to ImpRove Farm Scale Water PrOductivity