Cutting Costs and Improving
Production of Pistachios
The dry areas with mellow hills in Toledo, Castilla la Mancha region, are home to the orchards of Spain’s largest vendor of the pistachio crop, Pistachos del Sol.
Since the area of more than 110 hectares of land stretches from the hilltop down to the flatland in the proximity of a creek, the diverse land and dierent depth of the phreatic zone resulted in dierent growth of the pistachio trees in dierent areas. It also caused some local issues like mildews in certain areas, despite being managed as best as possible with the given knowledge about the area.
Enabling smarter management of the plants both in the field and at the organizational level can help to greatly cut costs and improve outputs.
The bootcamp and meetings with the other DIATOMIC experiments were very valuable for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints regarding technology in Agriculture. Having a number of consortia present at the common event, whose members work in the agriculture technology industry and focus on a limited number of domains, was definitely very
useful within DIATOMIC. Besides that, we were able to take part in some interesting webinars where we could learn about new practicalities. Finally, the mentors supported us throughout the entire process with guidance, advice and suggestions, which only made us better.
The product transitioned from a TRL-5 to a TRL-9 commercialization level, and use of the product by the initial users picked up during the season. The evaluation of “Value” and “Ease of use” parameters of the installed system was 4.54 and 4.93 out of 5 respectively, indicating that the system is valuable and not getting in the way of the end-users in their everyday operations. In an area of the orchard that has shown to be over-irrigated earlier, an estimate of 20% irrigation reduction across the whole season is indicated based on the results from the part of the season in which the experiment was conducted. Furthermore, in the areas that require more “manual activity” by the farmers to start and run the irrigation, an estimated 1 or 2 irrigation cycles can be reduced, stripping the high cost (including labour, gasoline and vehicle usage) by 3-5%. Moreover, regarding the administrative activities, time spent was also cut with the help of integration information management.