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With the vegetable sector amounting to around 10% of the total agricultural output value in the EU, vegetables represent one of the most important food categories in European supermarkets. Farmers face numerous challenges in their efforts to guarantee a continued supply. Most importantly disease/pest control, the competition with weeds and the preservation of soil fertility.

In order to support the long-term growth of the sector, the vegetable trial aims to demonstrate how the cultivation process can be automated, using an intelligent combination of sensors and data analysis. These IoT technologies will be tested under different conditions, ranging from fully-controlled indoor greenhouses to semi-controlled greenhouses and open-air, non-regulated vegetable cultivation. 

Special attention will be given to organic farming, where weed control is a specific challenge. Reliable traceability throughout the supply chain and the simplification of certification systems is also included in the trial.

City Farming Leafy Vegetables: implementing value chain innovation for leafy vegetables in convenience foods by integrated indoor climate control and logistics

Chain Integrated Greenhouse Production: developing a full sensor-actuator-based system in tomato greenhouses to integrate the value chain and quality innovations

Added Value Weeding Data: boosting the value chain by harvesting weeding data of organic vegetables obtained by advanced visioning systems

Enhanced Quality Certification System: achieving enhanced trust and simplification of quality certification systems by use of sensors, RFID tags and intelligent chain analyses

“What excites me, when applied to vegetable growing, is the potential to make economically sustainable the diversity and avoid massification. To me this is the key point for any future farming pathway, provided we are able to communicate what we do to the consumers, and that is what traceability and simple certification systems can grant.”

Eco-system trial chair

Cristina Micheloni

Agronomist, Valoritalia