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South Africa: Improving water productivity using satellites

For farmers, decisions are based on experience and knowledge. To take decisions, they need accurate and timely information on their crop. Information is especially important in countries like South Africa, where water is a critical resource and a strong competition exists between the urban, industrial and agricultural sectors. Farmers need to increase the water productivity (water use efficiency) by maintaining or increasing agricultural production while reducing water consumption.

www.FruitLook.co.za is an innovative, up-to-date service that helps to understand what is happening on a farm on a weekly basis. It shows where water can be saved, and where the crop is experiencing water stress. FruitLook is based on the latest satellite image technologies. The basic package of 9 growth parameters such as the actual evapotranspiration (real water consumption), biomass growth and nitrogen content help to understand where irrigation water and nutrients are required, and how much to apply. FruitLook is available for vineyards and deciduous fruit trees but the technology can be applied at any crop.

FruitLook, a successor of the GrapeLook project, is a demonstration project. The objective is to demonstrate how satellite observations can assist farmers and their consultants with your daily farm management. Anyone can assess the benefits for farm (management). The FruitLook service is freely available for the season of 2011-12 due to financial contributions of the Department of Agriculture: Western Cape (with support from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, HortGRO and the Integrated Application Program of the ESA)

For more information:
Annemarie Klaasse
eLEAF Competence Center
+31 (0)317 427 801

Publication date: 4/20/2012


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