SMP 2108 Advanced fertigation solutions for climate resilient rural areas

Since 90% of greenhouses worldwide are low tech tunnels, with very limited access to capital and knowledge and proper know-how, the potential for a mid tech, low cost fertigation set-up is enormous. The Moroccan situation is a very good example to illustrate this situation. A wide spread of low tech greenhouses, scarce/saline water and an intense accumulation of salts in the soils due to irrigation, are endangering the existence of the whole horticultural sector.


The acceleration of climate change with increased temperatures and reduced rain fall is putting a lot of pressure on agricultural production systems. That is the case in the Netherlands, and the situation is even more critical in lower latitudes developing countries; where water is already a scarce resource; and heat is even more intense.

In the latter countries, the scarcity of water is tightly coupled with low water quality. Namely, salinity, sodicity, alkalinity and hardness of water are main quality issues farmers have to face. Such poor quality water will cause high dripper clogging potential during irrigation. It also affects soil fertility if used over long periods of time. In fact, it leads to poor soil structure, reduced soil aeration and water permeability, which builds salinity and sodicity overtime. In a first stage this reduces yield and can later force the farmer to abandon his land, because nothing can grow there anymore, due to soil degradation.

This constitutes an excellent opportunity to develop new IoT low cost technologies and provide (online) accessible solutions for this particular market. It has to be cheaper-simple equipment with simplified online advice.