Silal, Abu Dhabi’s leading fresh food and agritech company, in collaboration with Hoogendoorn, one of the world’s innovators in horticulture, today launched the Digital Agronomy Service, with the aim of deploying IoT sensors in 100 farms over the course of 2022. This project is aimed at enabling local farmers and advisors to make better decisions on irrigation, fertilisation, and crop management to maximise locally-grown fresh produce.
Through this collaboration, Silal will apply IoT sensors to capture key parameters affecting crop growth in greenhouses and net-houses, in order to optimise resource use efficiency and productivity. This initiative will help the company in determining the status of crop growth and input requirements of farms across the emirate, to devise prudent agriculture plans and projects. For farmers, this initiative will help to drive farm productivity, produce quality and profitability.
Salmeen Obaid Alameri, CEO of Silal, stressed on the importance of AI and IoT in augmenting food sustainability and the agricultural sector when he said: “The agricultural sector has undergone several revolutions, perhaps the most transformative of which is the use of agritech. At Silal, we believe that digital transformation is key to enhance agricultural sustainability practices while empowering local farmers and helping them increase their crop yields. We launched the new Digital Agronomy Service to support the decision-making process while enhancing resource use efficiency, thereby providing world-class services to Abu Dhabi farmers. This comes in line with our mandate to introduce innovative technology enabled solutions to deliver sustainable local agriculture production and support the UAE’s food sustainability efforts.”
Martin Helmich, CCO of Hoogendoorn Growth Management, commented: “Local production is becoming increasingly important, globally and especially in the Middle East. We witness enormous interest in technology and knowledge to increase local fresh produce and efficient use of resources and inputs in this region. Therefore, Hoogendoorn has committed to working with Silal to help the local growers, and we will deploy our IoT technologies, advance data analytics and crop knowledge to create world-class agronomic decision support service to support local food production in the UAE.”
This initiative will deploy a wide range of IoT sensors to capture key parameters, such as temperature, humidity, vapor difference, radiation, pH, soil moisture, electric conductivity, among others. The sensors will also determine the status of crop growth and input requirements, such as water, energy, CO2, fertilisers and agrichemical applications. These data will be connected to AI-powered computers and used by Silal’s agriculture engineers to devise crop growth models, thereby making better agronomic decisions and increasing productivity.