canary islands

Tenerife studies banana and avocado farms to optimise irrigation across the island

The REGADIA project is being developed by ITER, the Canary Islands Institute for Agricultural Research and the University of La Laguna (Tenerife) and will make it possible to predict the water supply needs of these crops seven days in advance.

The Island Council of Tenerife, through the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER) and in a consortium with the Canary Islands Institute of Agricultural Research (ICIA) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) is developing a project called REGADIA through which the most important areas where banana and avocado cultivation is carried out will be studied with the aim of making decisions on the irrigation of the farms under study and forecasting the water supply needs of these crops in a horizon of seven days. Once a sufficiently representative dataset is available, work will begin on predictive irrigation models using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques.

Banana is the crop with the highest water demand in Tenerife and accounts for 60% of the island’s agricultural water consumption. On the other hand, avocado cultivation, which requires a high water input, has been growing exponentially in recent years.

ITER technicians, thanks to the support of the Irrigation Office of the Island Council of Tenerife, have visited several of the island’s banana and avocado farms to evaluate the characteristics of the plots where water meters and humidity sensors will be installed.

ITER is also working on the development of the electronic devices that will be installed in the field to, on the one hand, collect the data from the sensors and, on the other, send this data to a cloud storage service that will be installed and available on the ITER supercomputer (HPC) for subsequent exploitation within the framework of the project.

At the same time, ICIA has started to analyse soil samples from representative farms, with the aim of characterising the water retention capacity and thus providing valuable information for predictive models.

The REGADIA project (PLEC2022-009444), coordinated by the Robotics Unit of ITER, will last 36 months and is funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the State Research Agency (10.13039/501100011033) and by the European Union in the framework of the EU Recovery Plan Next Generation EU and the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR).

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