The Region of Valparaiso already has the first Chilean greenhouses equipped with technological sensors that will allow monitoring different environmental variables inside them, such as soil moisture, solar radiation, relative humidity, and air temperature, among others. The greenhouses were part of the innovation project "Development of a system of optimization of productive management, for small farmers with crops under greenhouse conditions, through the use of ICT."
The goal of this type of greenhouse is to provide producers and their technical teams tools for decision-making. This technology allows producers to check the greenhouse's variables in real-time via their smartphones or computers.
Ruben Ruiz, project manager, said the project contemplated the three key factors in production systems under greenhouse conditions: the climatic requirements of the plants, which are necessary to express their productive potential; the climatic conditions of the place where the plant needs to be grown, and the structure or type of greenhouse required to generate that environment if the place where the greenhouse is doesn't already provide it.
The project currently has an information base collected at the beginning of 2019 in different agro-ecological zones of smallholder greenhouses in the regions of Valparaíso, Maule, and Biobio. This study determined the most relevant thermodynamic characteristics that greenhouses should have regarding their support infrastructures and their roofs. This work was carried out by INIA researchers, together with specialists from the University of Bio-Bio, the Adventist University of Chile (UnACh) and the University of Chile (UCh).
It allowed the creation of an agroecological production model under greenhouse conditions that integrate the use of advanced tools, such as monitoring sensors, automation, and the recording of environmental conditions. It was complemented with data available from agroclimatic cartography and digital agroclimatic zoning, which can be found on the web by any user.
Parallel to this project, a Research Center for Greenhouse Technology and Agronomic Management (CITyMAI) has been created in the Ñuble region, where new designs, structural support materials, and greenhouse covers will be evaluated and studied.