Green Innovation Centres – Intelligent Irrigation Systems for higher Yields and Protection of the Environment in Tunisia
Tunisia suffers from an ever increasing shortage of water. For the farmers in the highlands this means that especially their harvests are in jeopardy. This is especially the case for summer crops that require irrigation like potatoes, chilies and tomatoes. In cooperation with local partners, the Green Innovation Center introduced an additional potato harvest in the region in 2016. This extra harvest turned out to be very profitable for the smallholders. However, because of a lack of expertise the farmers tend to overwater their fields, and this leads to a shortage of the vital resource.
Therefore, in 2019 the Green Innovation Center together with the agricultural research institute INAT started a first pilot project working on intelligent irrigation. Data on soil, climate and plants is being collected and then transmitted to a cloud. A software application allows to calculate the exact need for water and the best time for watering the plants. Farmers are able to access the data through the app and receive suggestions on how to irrigate. This way, the scarce water can be utilized in a targeted and economical manner while optimizing the development and growth of the crops. Additionally, the irrigation can be completely automated so that the farmers can manage the watering of their fields from a distance.