The Puglian regional government has given €160,000 to the Italian agritech startup Elaisian to expand its internet of things technology throughout olive groves in the region.
Elaisian has raised €1 million in its latest round of fundraising from both public and private investors, which it will use to expand its technology to groves throughout the Mediterranean, North and South America.
Technology in the primary sector is paving the way for precision agriculture, with strong evidence of the benefits coming from the big data applied to the sector.
Founded in 2017, the company installs digital sensors in olive groves that collect real-time climate data. The data is transmitted to the company’s platform and analyzed by an algorithm, which provides advice on issues ranging from when to harvest, how much fertilizer to use and potential pest risks.
Elaisian products that are aimed at olive growers specifically target pests and diseases such as the olive fruit fly and the olive moth, leprosy and Spilocaea oleaginea, the fungi responsible for peacock spot.See Also: Spain Deploys New Technology to Combat Olive Tree Pathogens
“By gathering climate data from a specific monitored field, our algorithms join these climate data with historical information about the local climate and agronomic studies,” the company said on its website.
“The results are detailed alerts and reporting services,” it added. “From any device, smartphone, tablet or computer, every farmer receives information on the possible future presence of diseases and suggestions on when it would be the most appropriate time to deploy a treatment for the olive trees.”
Alerts are sent via a dedicated mobile application and are meant to anticipate a specific pest or disease outbreak within at least a week.
The application also allows farmers to monitor humidity, temperature and other weather and climate data at any time. In exceptional cases, when immediate action is advised, farmers can also receive alerts via SMS.
“Technology in the primary sector is paving the way for precision agriculture, with strong evidence of the benefits coming from the big data applied to the sector,” said Damiano Angelici and Giovanni Di Mambro, co-founders of the company.
“The benefits for the farms include saving costs on treatment deployment and labor while aiming at higher quality and production yields as well as at diminishing their environmental impact,” they added.