The effects of climate change along with other evolving factors are affecting agricultural production, such as changes in farming practices and technology. Higher CO2 levels can increase plant growth. However, other factors, such as changing temperatures, ozone, and water nutrients constraints, may counteract these potential increases in yield. For example, if temperature exceeds a crop’s optimal level, if sufficient water and nutrients are not available, yield increases may be reduced or reversed. More extreme temperature and precipitation can prevent crops from growing: floods and droughts can harm crops and reduce yields.
The 2023 summer is expected to be again one of the hottest in the last century and all Mediterranean countries are already preparing solutions to support farmers. Agriculture is highly dependent on the climate. Increases in temperature and carbon dioxide can increase some crop yields can also increase crop yields in some places: but to realize these benefits, nutrient levels, soil moisture, water availability and other conditions must also be meet.
Thanks to an initiative called ‘PRIMA Training and Mobility Award 2022’, a grant provided by the Malta Council for Science & Technology (MCST) to support opportunities for Malta-based eligible undertakings to establish networks that could lead to future collaborations to submit R&I proposals has given the possibility to a very interesting collaborations between the Maltese company WES TRADE, recently became famous for its smart application based on Artificial Intelligence IRRIGOPTIMAL to tackle water scarcity and the Bahcesehir University of Istanbul, a real excellence in the agrifood studies.
The initiative gave the chance to the Turkish partner to appreciate the work done by WES TRADE on IRRIGOPTIMAL and decided to install the system in a field of apple trees in Catalca. The parties also decided to conduct advanced research on the improvement of the quality and prevention of diseases by monitoring and studying various parameters combined and used to provide early alerts created by Artificial Intelligence algorithms to support farmers in reducing risks for apples production and will give experts real time data and soil information critical for the crop. Agreement is to start preparing a joint project with our University Partner under the ‘MCST-TUBITAK 2023 JOINT CALL R&I PROPOSALS’ launched last week by MCST, aims to bilaterally support cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation in different thematic areas and in which we are mostly focused on ‘Agriculture’.
“It is very important for us to have international recognition of our excellency in this sector,” said Alessio Bucaioni, CEO of WES TRADE. “Climate change effects are visible in the unpredictable behaviour of crops along the year and we can now offer solutions to mitigate problems to the farmers. In this sense our Partner in Turkey will give us the opportunity to complement our skills with the excellency in the Research. Very good initiative from MCST to support Maltese entities to cross the borders and enhance the quality of their research.”