`AI Tool for Olive Farmers Will Improve Yields, Reduce Costs, Researchers Say - Olive Oil Times

AI Tool for Olive Farmers Will Improve Yields, Reduce Costs, Researchers Say

By Daniel Dawson
May. 8, 2023 13:16 UTC

Researchers in Andalusia say they are devel­op­ing a new tool that will allow farm­ers to use arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI) to deter­mine when their olives are ready to har­vest.

Citoliva, a non-profit research­ing olive oil tech­nol­ogy, said the AI-based pre­dic­tive model could improve yields and decrease pro­duc­tion costs. They esti­mate it will be ready for com­mer­cial use in two years.

Along with Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and Citoliva’s four pri­vate sec­tor part­ners work­ing on the project, the orga­ni­za­tion believes the new tech­nol­ogy will allow farm­ers to pre­dict the moment of max­i­mum oil accu­mu­la­tion with­out repeated trips to the groves.

The researchers added that this would reduce time spent on infor­ma­tion analy­ses and costs of har­vest­ing while allow­ing for more accu­rate pro­duc­tion esti­mates.

See Also:Researchers Develop Simplified Way to Determine Polyphenol Contents of Olive Oil

The tool is cur­rently in the research phase; the idea is that it works with a com­bi­na­tion of data pro­vided by satel­lite images and ground sen­sors, and the farmer could man­age it from their mobile device,” Carmen Capiscol, head of research, devel­op­ment and inno­va­tion at Citoliva, told Olive Oil Times.

The AI-based pre­dic­tive model uses phe­no­log­i­cal data about flow­er­ing and olive mat­u­ra­tion, data about cli­mate, olive vari­eties and fat devel­op­ment within the fruit to deter­mine the opti­mal har­vest moment.

Capiscol said the project is still in the early phase, and researchers have not yet deter­mined the cost of installing the nec­es­sary sen­sors or using the mobile device for farm­ers.

The usabil­ity of the appli­ca­tion is some­thing that has not yet been iden­ti­fied,” she added. We are work­ing on per­fect­ing the model.”

While Citoliva and its part­ners are still work­ing to iden­tify exactly whom the device will best serve, Capiscol said the idea was to cre­ate a scal­able solu­tion that all farm­ers may ben­e­fit from down the road.

Potential users have yet to be defined, but it is likely that the approach will be made with coop­er­a­tives in mind directly for mem­ber advice rather than the indi­vid­ual pro­ducer,” she said. In any case, the idea is that it is, of course, afford­able so that its use can be extended in the sec­tor.”

Regardless of cost and ease or dif­fi­culty of use, Capsicol believes the tool will help olive farm­ers iden­tify the best moment to har­vest.

This may become all the more impor­tant as chang­ing cli­matic pat­terns in Andalusia and across the Mediterranean basin more broadly shift some of the key moments of olive devel­op­ment.

At Citoliva, we are com­mit­ted to the qual­ity of olive oil, and we advise pro­duc­ers for it,” Capiscol said. One of the crit­i­cal points is the moment of har­vest­ing the fruit, for which it is nec­es­sary to carry out peri­odic mon­i­tor­ing in the field, lab­o­ra­tory analy­sis and even oil extrac­tion with Abencor.”

Despite every­thing, it is dif­fi­cult to know in advance when it will be the most appro­pri­ate time to har­vest, which makes plan­ning dif­fi­cult,” she added. We believe that being able to know the opti­mum moment with bet­ter pre­ci­sion and more in advance could be rel­e­vant to save resources and, above all, to be able to do bet­ter har­vest plan­ning.”

The appli­ca­tion of AI tech­nolo­gies in the olive oil sec­tor is becom­ing increas­ingly rel­e­vant.

While tech­nolo­gies such as ChatGPT have cap­tured the head­lines, this type of AI has lim­ited use for farm­ers.

Instead, researchers are also using AI to deter­mine olive oil prove­nance, which they argue will improve trace­abil­ity and trans­parency in the sec­tor while mak­ing fraud more dif­fi­cult to com­mit.


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