MAHER has begun the development of the research and development project “ESTOMATIC: Automatic irrigation management system based on stomatal opening data”, whose total budget amounts to 184,370.00, being co-financed by the European Development Fund by 85% Regional (ERDF) through the Plurirregional Operational Program of Spain 2014-2020), managed by the Center for Technological and Industrial Development (CDTI).
The main objective of ESTOMATIC is to develop a new irrigation programmer that will provide the user with the possibility to automatically manage the irrigation activations, deciding the frequency of the water supply, based on the stomatal opening as a physiological parameter of the plant that can offer very valuable information about the water status of the crop. With this, it is intended to take a step further in the irrigation of precision, making available to farmers an effective tool, which combines several elements (network of sensors, measuring stations and algorithms for the determination of conductivity Stomatics), to facilitate decision making regarding irrigation thanks to the characterization of the stoma and its level of openness as a way to check the availability of water in the plants.
The project has been approved within the framework of the 2017 Call for the International Technology Cooperation Program with Tunisia, and will be carried out thanks to the joint international collaboration between MAHER ELECTRÓNICA and the Higher College of Engineers of Medjez El Bab in Tunisia, a university institution located in the Tunisian city of Bejà and specialized in agricultural hydraulics, mobilization and water management, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. Likewise, both entities will have the backing of Tecnova Technological Center, a reference research organization in the field of the auxiliary industry of agriculture and whose participation will be of great value to accompany the planned technological development.
It will be implemented within a 24-month timeframe, culminating in a final stage with the validation of the new tool developed through the completion in Tunisia of a 6-month agronomic trial in the experimentation facilities that the Tunisian partner will make available to the draft.