Spain - The SENSOPLAG project aims to develop digital tools to predict and detect pests that threaten citrus crops

24.03.2023 186 views

The Generalitat, through the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), finances the development of new digital tools for the early detection and prediction of the main pests that threaten citrus crops in the Valencian Community. “The goal is to design a more advanced and precise control system that allows farmers to deal with these diseases in their initial stage, in order to optimize the treatments applied and reduce their possible impact on the environment.”

“Currently, different crop management strategies coexist in the Valencian countryside, which makes it difficult to plan and respond in a coordinated way to a phytosanitary threat. The SENSOPLAG project aims to contribute, precisely, to the development of efficient policies for the management of new pests as one of the ways to guarantee the viability of the primary sector.”

The initiative is promoted by the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-Asaja) in collaboration with the Institute of Agricultural Research (IVIA), the AINIA technological center, the Sustainability Recognition Group (REDOLí) of the University of Valencia, and the Servicios Agrarios Sinyent and Locatec Aplicaciones Informática companies. It also has the support of the AVI, which has contributed 684,000 euro within the framework of its competitive aid competition, and it is jointly financed with the European Union through the Regional Development Fund (Feder).

“In the face of the serious threat posed by new diseases and the limitations of current detection systems, SENSOPLAG explores the development of a new solution, based on an integrated system of digital tools that allows the early detection, monitoring and prediction of key pests, such as the South African cotonet, the eastern red mite or insects that act as vectors for greening.”

“The goal is to integrate all these tools and the data obtained in a single platform in order to develop models that generate, from this material, practical information for professionals in the field. In fact, we are working on an app aimed at producers and technicians to help them make decisions and solve their possible doubts. The app will help them choose the most appropriate treatments and the optimal moment of application to achieve maximum effectiveness.”

“Currently, the project is in a data collection and data analysis phase so it can be definitively integrated into the model. To do this, satellite images will be processed, as well as those taken with hyperspectral cameras integrated into drones in order to study the detection and degree of pests there are during different periods of the year."

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