Artificial Intelligence: Israeli AI Technology Helps Precision Irrigate Avocados In South Africa
There’s now a smarter way to irrigate and produce more avocados for farmers.
SupPlant, an Israeli-based company uses IoT, but in agriculture. Over the last four years, it has developed an AI-based system for autonomous irrigation that saves water and improves crop yields. Farmers of avocados in South Africa are now using this technology to their advantage. (THE SOUTH AFRICAN)
Avocados and AI
Demand for avocados has spiraled across the globe. According to the WEF, avocado consumption in the US has more than doubled in only 10 years. This runaway jump in the demand for the fruit has created a climate change effect in the countries where it is produced, such as Mexico and South Africa.
Forest lands are being cleared away to make way for avocado plantations. Besides, avocados require large amounts of water. In Mexico, the massive extraction of water for avocado cultivation – the everyday equivalent of 3,800 Olympic pools – is taking a huge toll on the country’s Michoacán aquifers.
One hectare of avocado with 156 trees consumes 1.6 times more than a forest with 677 trees per hectare, says the WEF.
However, SupPlant’s technology automates and optimizes avocado irrigation, ensuring healthy and robust harvests with minimal water usage.
How it works
SupPlant’s system is an amalgam of sensory hardware, agronomic algorithms and AI, big data, and cloud technology. The company’s data model is based on predictive algorithms that analyze 100M avocado data points.
IoT sensors are placed in and around the plant including deep soil, shallow soil, stem/trunk, leaf, and the avocado fruit itself.
The purpose of these sensors is to monitor, in real-time, the plant’s condition and growth. The system can assess the actual plant growth against the theoretical and predicted growth patterns.
These sensors also relay data on the water content in the soil and the plant.
For overall control, the system also takes into account data relating to weather forecasts and the actual weather conditions prevailing at the time of measurement.
The data is transmitted to the cloud and then sent to the farmer’s smartphone. The farmer can, therefore, take appropriate action immediately.
Water savings and better yield
SupPlant calls this GBI, or Growth-Based Irrigation.
“It is a unique closed-loop irrigation system, fully autonomous and reactive to plants needs in real-time. Already commercial in 14 of the world’s largest markets, it is showing constant results of 30% water savings and above 5% increase in yields on average, in a wide range of crops.”
Latest Alternative Investment News
Global early-stage venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday its raise of $3.3 billion across two new funds. BVP XI, which collected $2.475 billion, will focus on early-stage companies…
SS&C ALPS Advisors have launched an actively managed, semi-transparent ETF that focuses on the U.S. REIT securities market. The ALPS Active REIT ETF (REIT) will trade on the NASDAQ.
Atom Bank, which is based in Durham, U.K., plans to raise £40 million from its existing shareholders in a move to achieve profitability within a year. The digital bank also…
Federally chartered digital bank Anchorage announced Thursday its Series C raise of $80 million led by GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, with participation from a16z, Blockchain Capital, Lux, and Indico.