twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

Collaboration crucial for greater agri-tech adoption

Cross-industry collaboration is essential to the adoption of precision technology in agriculture, said the project co-ordinator of a recently completed Knowledge Transfer Innovation Fund (KTIF) project

AF and FEAG SACPart of SAC Consulting’s role has been to gauge more broadly how much support is required among farmers in taking on digital tools. (Image source: Pexels/Pixabay)

The 12-month Tuberzone initiative, based in the East of Scotland, trialled new precision agriculture tools to predict tuber size of seed and salad potatoes and accurate burn down time for growers to maximise yield and profit margin.

SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), partnered with precision farming company SoilEssentials and farmer-owned cooperative Grampian Growers to support the uptake of the innovative Tuberzone potato technology among growers from Angus to Aberdeenshire to the Black Isle.

Project facilitator Zach Reilly of SAC Consulting said that the value of projects like these is working collaboratively with all parties with a vested interest – the growers, the tech providers, the marketing co-op – to develop precision technology that is compelling for growers to adopt long-term.

“The flow of new technology into agriculture is exciting but we need to assure farmers that it will meet their needs. When there are many variables and cost implications it’s important to select tools that are going to help your decision-making and your business’ bottom line. Part of SAC Consulting’s role has been to gauge more broadly how much support is required among farmers in taking on digital tools. We have gained a lot from this experience and it will help us in future projects as we guide farmers through the adoption of new technologies across all agricultural sectors.”

Using a combination of satellite imagery, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and GPS to monitor growth from crop emergence through the growing season to burn down, Tuberzone successfully predicted the graded-out size of Gemson, a salad potato variety owned by Grampian Growers, within 90 per cent accuracy, for the majority of growers.

Jim Wilson, managing director of Brechin-based SoilEssentials, said, “The challenge of seed and salad potato production is knowing exactly when to stop the crop growing and a few days either way can make a big difference to the total value of the crop. Tuberzone allows us to see what is going on under the ground and aids the decision on haulm destruction by giving an individual yield and size distribution for each crop over the next two weeks. This helps in deciding what date the crop needs to be burned down taking into account the forecast weather conditions and how quickly the other potato crops are developing.”

Claire Dyce of Grampian Growers, based near Montrose, added, “This has been an excellent outcome of the project, saving second guessing and it gives much better accuracy for growers to base decisions on. Obviously, as a cooperative, our ethos is to work together and we’ve been very impressed at both the running and the outcomes of the project, and getting as much as we can from the project for the growers.”

Summarising the initiative, project manager of SAC Consulting Iain Riddell commented, “From the start of this project it was clear that all the partners were on the same page, with clear goals – to get this technology out to the growers who will benefit most from it. This enthusiasm has carried through the whole project and we are very pleased with the uptake of Tuberzone monitoring by more than a third of the growers for the 2020 season, for Gemson and other varieties.  Another positive outcome is Grampian Growers field staff now using GPS technology to identify the optimum locations for test digs.”


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

African Development Fund approves US$6.4mn grant to increase financial access for agricultural value chain entrepreneurs

African Development Fund approves US$6.4…

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund, the African Development Bank Group’s (AfDB’s) concessional lending window, has approved a grant US$6.4mn to Gambia to implement the Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing...

Esri partners with Microsoft to support sustainable agriculture development in Africa

Esri partners with Microsoft to support …

To help support government and non-profit organisations on the continent address climate change, water supply and food security challenges, Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, has collaborated with Microsoft...

USAID and NASA renew partnership to address development and humanitarian challenges

USAID and NASA renew partnership to addr…

On 4 November, Administrator Samantha Power signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to renew...

Norway promises top-up contribution of urgently needed climate finance

Norway promises top-up contribution of u…

On 9 November 2022, Norway, as part of a commitment to triple its support to climate adaptation by 2026, has pledged an additional US$9.5mn contribution of urgently needed climate finance...

CotonChad and IDH sign partnership with Better Cotton

CotonChad and IDH sign partnership with …

Better Cotton recently signed a multi-stakeholder Letter of Intent to participate in the landscape approach, developed with local stakeholders in Chad in conjunction with IDH, intending to work towards improving...

NFU president Minette Batters appointed as ambassador of Farm Africa

NFU president Minette Batters appointed …

Farm Africa, a charity that promotes sustainable agricultural practices, strengthens markets and protects the environment in rural eastern Africa, has announced the appointment of NFU president Minette Batters as an...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Namibian bank to support drought-hit farmers

Namibian bank to support drought-hit far…

Standard Bank Namibia has pledged to help farmers in combating the effects of drought-stricken areas in Namibia

USDA launches cashew value chain project for West African countries

USDA launches cashew value chain project…

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a US$38mn project in The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau to enhance the regional cashew value chain and improve the trade of...

AGCO Agriculture Foundation unveils Africa Agribusiness Qualification programme

AGCO Agriculture Foundation unveils Afri…

The AGCO Agriculture Foundation (AAF) has launched the Africa Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) programme for Africans who want to contribute to Africa’s Agenda 2063 for food security, nutrition, and the agricultural...

Nigeria on the verge of doing away with rice importation: Lai Mohammed

Nigeria on the verge of doing away with …

The fact that Nigeria has been able to cut down on rice importation from 644,000 MT to about 22,000 MT within two years proves the agricultural revolution is working, Alhaji...

Nigerian firm invests US$13.4mn in rice production

Nigerian firm invests US$13.4mn in rice …

A Nigerian company has pledged to invest around US$13.4mn in cultivating around 25,000ha of land at Akotogbo in Ondo state with a promise to create 2,500 jobs

Can the UN climate talks help African farmers?

Can the UN climate talks help African fa…

Africa’s agriculture sector could be argued to be failing but with technology, education and funding there’s a way back and the UN Climate talks could help this

Adesina emphasises role of agriculture to attain global food security

Adesina emphasises role of agriculture t…

Akinwumi Adesina, president of African Development Bank (AfDB), has delivered a speech on how to make agriculture work for Africa and the world at Wageningen University & Research in The...

AgDevCo invests in Mozambique's agribusiness sector

AgDevCo invests in Mozambique's agribusi…

AgDevCo has announced a debt investment of US$3mn in Quinta da Bela Vista Limitada (QBV), an irrigated banana estate located in the Boane area, Mozambique

USA and Ghana sign declaration of partnership on food security

USA and Ghana sign declaration of partne…

The US and the Republic of Ghana have signed a declaration of partnership at the African Green Revolution Forum hosted in Accra, to launch a five-year ‘Feed the Future Country...

Crop rotation technology to aid Ghana's farmers

Crop rotation technology to aid Ghana's …

A technology able to address declining soil fertility in food production has been made available to smallholder farmers in Ghana

AfDB collaborates with GEF to promote sustainable agro- and forest ecosystems

AfDB collaborates with GEF to promote su…

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has approved a total funding of US$11.2mn for two projects co-financed with the African Development Bank (AfDB) at the 52nd Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council...

WCDA and DFDC-SA donate food to the poor amid COVID-19 crisis

WCDA and DFDC-SA donate food to the poor…

Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Deciduous Fruit Development Chamber of South Africa (DFDC-SA) has handed over 10,000 fruit parcels to the NGO Gift of the Givers, to be...

Prev Next