1. Farm Mechanization

‘Machine Learning’ technology to ensure higher quality of food safety

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

When we talk about productive farming – three things that come to our mind are skilled labour, water availability and plant protection via fertilizers. Agro-engineers are finding solutions to the most pressing issues in the world of production that includes high costs of the trained labour,  fertilizers and the ever scarcer water availability. ‘Machine Learning’ is the solution proposed by Smartisland Group. Their technologies consist of two units - a hardware and a software that allow monitoring of the production cycles of various crops – especially those intensive cultivations that require a rational management. 

Giuseppe TrippodoSmartisland agro-engineer, explains, “The technology allows tracing the quality and production characteristics of fruit and vegetables, thus ensuring a higher quality of food safety - especially regarding the performance of the field. The technology is also provided with a module that allows configuring with an industrial production implant in order to assimilate in advance the quality of the incoming product. In this way, the system allows controlling the post farm process. Particularly, if it is applied to the tomato industry, it allows controlling the fundamental aspects that are involved in the actual transformation of the product. 

Maria Luisa Cinquerri, founder and CEO of the start-up said “We obtain these results because the system approaches the product both during the 'field stage' – through a Daiki Analysis and within the factory, thanks to Daiki Industry. These two remotely inter-dialogue between each other.” 

Smartisland is making up important partnerships with some of the agro-food industries. Additionally, it is carrying out projects for the industry 4.0, together with universities and companies supporting Smartisland. However, the company also speaks to the world of the small and medium-big producers. Daiki Analytics is the synthesis of a technology connected to sensors which control the soil, the water and the air of the location close to the crop. 

The manager added “We are able to control the entire ecosystem that affects every single plant. We analyze the vital parameters of the crop itself. Farmers can visualize what happens to their crops in real time. But most importantly, they can do crucial evaluations thanks to the analysis provided by our software. The data provided allow to prevent possible diseases, such as parasites and viruses, but also to prevent other drawbacks. Thanks to the observations obtained with a vision module (through continuous photographs sent to the server – e.d.) it is possible to control the elements contributing to the healthy growth of the plant". 

Cinquerrui further said “Our technology allows a cost reduction of almost 40%, especially on fertilizers, water and electricity. Smartisland is present within 150 companies in Sicily, half of which is constituted by horticultural farms in greenhouses. Most of them are soilless cultivation. The 50 percent  is divided between companies producing grape, citruses, fruits, almonds and pistachio nuts. We are also present in some processing and coffee industries.  By October, our technology will be commercialized online, also. This will reduce purchasing costs. On February 2019, we will be also present within the most important retail outlets of South-Eastern Sicily. 

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