IoT is for everyone, and it is here to stay

Spyros Fountas

Fruit Trial Technology Chair and co-lead of UC3.1 and UC3.3

The time is truly ripe for the largescale application of IoT solutions and devices in the fruit sector. As technology chair of the Fruit Trial and the co-lead of two fruit use cases I have experienced that IoT solutions are diverse, and widely applicable. IoT is not only for the fortunate few, or for the enthusiastic early innovators. It is for every farmer, and it is here to stay.

Consider for example the ’Automated Olive Chain’ use case. Our Greek test farmers from the Nileas group have recently been visited by Euronews. This gave IoF2020 an opportunity to showcase the possibilities for successful implementation of IoT solutions under typical Mediterranean rural farming conditions. The success that these Greek farmers have with applying modern technology goes to show that regular farmers, under regular conditions, can truly benefit from IoT solutions. You don’t need to be(come) an ultramodern vertical farming or rooftop farming pioneer for this.

"Regular farmers, under regular conditions, can truly benefit from IoT solutions."

The ’Fresh Table Grapes Chain’ use case recently presented the test results for a now ready for market product: the blow® device. The blow label is developed to increase the shelf life of table grapes, and testing shows that the label does indeed increase the shelf life to a whopping 60 days.

What many of the IoF2020 Fruit Trial use case solutions and developments have in common, is that they have the potential to be beneficial to many different farming sectors and systems. Solutions like smart Decision Support Systems (DSS’s), weather and soil measuring devices and new film packaging techniques are being created, developed, improved and tested in the Fruit Trials, but can be beneficial to many non-fruit farmers as well. This might be one of the most important teachings IoF2020 has to offer: Different farming sectors can make use of and benefit from similar IoT solutions, so we should all make sure to look past our own products, or even our own agri-food sectors. The answer to your questions might very well be out there, ready to be found on the other side of the fence.