Applying Big Data and artificial intelligence to crop production can optimize decision making and, ultimately, substantially improve profitability thanks to the savings in the use of inputs and the improvement in productivity ratios.
On January 9, at the headquarters of Coexphal, the status of the Rentia Operating Group, which has been promoted for a year by Unica Group, Hispatec, the University of Almeria, and Coexphal, was made public. The goal of this group is to improve the profitability of farmers, the competitiveness of the marketing cooperatives, and the environmental sustainability of the Andalusian producing areas through the integrated use of Big Data Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence, ERP, and mobility systems, such as applications for mobile devices and advanced user interfaces.
Ali Zidi, Agriculture and Data consultant at Hispatec, spoke about the work that this Almeria company has been developing together with Unica Group to progressively implement digitalization in this second-grade cooperative. The decision-making process is optimized by analyzing fixed data (the data that doesn't change during the campaign), dynamic data (the data that does change), and production and economic figures. “We can't do anything with unreliable data. A farmer makes about 300 decisions per campaign; if the first decisions are bad, there will be a domino effect, and when trying to correct things only makes things worse,” he said.
The development of the Almería SmartAgriHub project, which is being carried out by the UAL, Coexphal, Cajamar, and Hispatec was also discussed at the meeting.
Smart Agri Hubs has 108 partners and 28 on-going trials with demonstration activities. The project, which still requires 30 million additional funds, is expected to cover two million farms. The UAL intends to provide navigation tools to solve problems of digitalization in agriculture
A digitalization project that will culminate this summer
Rentia Operating Group's project is expected to end this summer. This project seeks to improve the profitability of farmers, change the producer's mindset to favor the implementation of digitalization, reduce the use of inputs, especially water consumption, improve sustainability, and lay the foundations of Big data applied to the agricultural sector in Andalusia.
Jose Antonio Sanchez, of the ARM Group of the UAL, is working on the use of predictive models that help decision making and said that they had less than 8% error in the tests they had done.