Matera, a garden where precision agriculture can flourish

There is an Italy that creates a system and invests in technology to build a better future”, Affirms Paola D’Antonio, professor of the University of Basilicata, organizer of the Garden of emerging technologies laboratorythat will animate the afternoon of June 25th during the Matera Digital Week.

The event will tell with the voices of the direct protagonists the ambitious project of a real permanent laboratory that aims to develop and put into practice the most advanced knowledge and technologies in the field of modern agriculture. A garden intended both in the literal sense and as a metaphor for the forge of innovation.

The laboratory will allow you to get to know and “touch” many of the most interesting technologies in the 4.0 agriculture sector which is divided into multiple operational areas. In particular, during the Matera event they will be subject of experimentation and transfer of know-how some of the most promising solutions such as: soil monitoring through systems with multiple sensors of soil moisture, soil salinity, pH sensors and sensors for the evaluation of the granulometry and of the structure; plant monitoring, implementing chlorophyll meters, vibrometers, accelerometers; climate monitoring through the use of a customizable weather station with relief of the different variables: wind speed / intensity and direction; UV, PAR and net radiation; barometric pressure; air temperature and humidity; rainfall; evaporation. It’s still satellite and / or drone monitoring: survey and analysis of vegetation indices (NDVI, NDMI…), survey and analysis of the different bands detected by multispectral cameras, survey and analysis of data detected by thermal cameras; tools for precision digital management of the environment such as variable rate operations (fertilization, pesticide treatments …) and precision fertigation; solutions of smart agriculture applied to domestic environments (houses, terraces, etc ..) and citizens (public green, condominium spaces)

The challenge of our laboratory both in the days of the Digital Week and in the near future is not only to present the latest innovations and to actively involve the protagonists of this sector but it is also to hit the knowledge gap which represents one of the main problems for the adoption of these innovations, particularly in southern Italy”, continues D’Antonio.

The exchange will follow different objectives depending on the interlocutor: training and technology transfer for companies, educational days for schools of all levels but also awareness-raising activities for citizens. “The involvement of all is an essential element for the success of the laboratory because the knowledge and awareness of modern agriculture is a game played on several levels and because the future is built together”, Underlines D’Antonio. It is no coincidence that it will be made official on the occasion of the Matera Laboratory the launch of a new first-level annual master’s degree in precision agriculture.

Among the strategic objectives in the medium and long term of the Laboratory is also aimed at the possibility of creating a solid framework of skills, methodologies and indispensable tools for companies operating in the primary sector in Basilicata. In particular, it will be implemented a specific work of knowledge and analysis of data aimed at the capacity of geo-statistical applications useful for businesses and the territory.

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