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A solution to reduce Fruit Growing Cost

Proper crop protection is essential to produce high-quality crops with minimal wastage. This increase in production leads to less water, land, and labor needed for food crops. And when less land is used, biodiversity is conserved and fewer greenhouse gases are emitted. It also ensures that more food reaches the markets and shops in good condition.

 

Today we will talk about a newly launched crop protection solution which enables farmers to open and close fruit covers in minutes. It also promises increased efficiency resulting in low production costs and all-around performance of the orchards and the Farms.  

 

The ‘Wayki Solution’, is already in use on cherry crops to deploy and take out protective covers faster in response to the changing weather. Any grower can cover or remove the covers from one hectare of orchards in just 20 minutes. With most existing automatic or semi-automatic systems, this process took far longer and required significantly more labor. Some other systems are even more expensive. 

Growers can use Wayki to give their crops exposure to natural conditions for as long as possible but at the same time protect them from dangers such as rain or hail quickly when they occur. They operate the system with a conventional hand drill, which turns a winding mechanism to open and close the covers. 

The Wayki solution sits above the structure of the existing poles and it can use different kinds of covers across the same orchard space. The company is working with farmers to develop Wayki for use in other crops, including blueberries, apples and others, and in vineyards. 

 

Keeping the fruit exposed to the air for longer, rather than inside the artificial microclimate created under covers, helps create a firmer and sweeter fruit. In the case of cherries grown under permanent cover, for example, the fruit is generally softer losing up to 10 Durofell points and is also less sweet. 

 

It must be noted that Wayki was invented in Chile, where production of cherries is predicted to grow to almost 40,000 hectares by 2020 and which accounts for approximately 85 percent of the southern hemisphere’s exports of this fruit to the northern hemisphere. The solution is launching in Europe for the first time. 

 

Cristián Lopez of Wayki Europe said, “Around the world, we are experiencing more and more severe and unexpected weather conditions. This has severe implications for the fruit business, as it raises the possibility of events including rain and hail damaging fruit, and high winds damaging growing infrastructure such as poles and cables”. 

 

Lopez added “Wayki is an exciting development because it gives growers the control to cover and uncover their orchards and vineyards in a matter of minutes in response to these events. It saves time and labor costs and we also believe ultimately helps produce a superior fruit. Wayki has proved itself in Chile and we are now in discussions with growers, installers and research centers in Italy and a number of other European countries.” 

 

Moreover, Wayki Europe will soon have installed lines in Italian and Norwegian cherry orchards and is working with growers in Chile to adapt the system further. The patented Wayki system costs between EUR 350 and EUR 450 per line, depending on the length of the line and distance between poles. 



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