FIGARO or “Flexible and Precision Irrigation Platform to Improve Farm Scale Water Productivity” is a European wide research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Technological Development .
The project aims to increase water productivity in major water-demanding crops and develop a cost-effective precision irrigation platform.
FIGARO focuses on significantly reducing the use of fresh water on farm level through developing a cost-effective, precision irrigation management platform. The European-wide consortium aims to develop a holistic and structured precision irrigation platform, which will offer farmers flexible, crop oriented management tool with DSS (Decision Supporting System) module to optimize irrigation and fertilizers dosing.
The project will also contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and adaptation of agriculture to climate change. The major beneficiaries of the FIGARO platform include:
- The environment due to the overall reduction in use of fresh water for irrigation and the consequent reduction in the water footprint;
- The individual farmers who by employing the platform, fulfils his obligation to save water in compliance to the growing trend of European regulation forcing the use of managed irrigation;
- The food industry companies buying agricultural products that were grown with the FIGARO Platform will benefit twice: once by they better compliance with regulation forcing them to lower the environmental impact of their businesses and by promoting themselves as environmentally friendly business by achieving the label “environmentally friendly farming practices used in our products lowered water footprint.”
- Policy and Decision makers will gain tools for monitoring and management of agricultural practices including irrigation, fertigation, and use of saline/brackish water. With the use of the FIGARO Platfom they can more effectively and accurately administer natural resources such as water and energy.
- Consumers of Europe and beyond will benefit from healthier and higher quality food products which have been produced with more sustainable practices e.g. use of less fertilizers and using minimal amount of water.