Background & Approach
Innovative irrigation and fertigation systems such as on-demand decision support systems (DSS) offer a strong potential to reduce the pressures of intensive agricultural production on water resources, when accompanied with advisory services on water & nutrition. However, they are scarcely adopted in soil-based farms in many EU regions and there is a strong need to adapt these technologies and demonstrate their environmental and economic benefits to foster their adoption by farmers.
The project will demonstrate the potential of these technologies in the Huelva region, which is the leading strawberry production region in Spain and in the EU. Part of this cultivation is carried out in the surrounding of the Doñana National Park, using in some areas water from groundwater bodies that have been recently declared at risk of not achieving the good status. The project also plans to replicate and foster the use of these technologies in other regions in France and in Portugal with significant pressures on water resources.
The LIFE 4DOÑANA project is born from the lessons learnt from the project “FERDOÑANA- Fostering Irrigation Efficiency in the Doñana area”, which was managed by GIESA (through its company OPTIRIEGO), promoted by the SAI Platform and funded by key European retailers and supermarkets.
- To demonstrate in strawberry commercial farms in the area of influence of the Doñana National Park (Huelva, Spain) the technical, environmental and socio-economic benefits of the on-demand DSS for enhanced irrigation and nutrient management.
- To develop and implement virtual and farm-based advisory & training systems to foster the adoption of techniques and practices for enhanced water & nutrient management in soil-based strawberry production.
- To foster the replication and transfer of project technologies in Andalusia (Spain) and in Portugal and France, in areas with high pressures on water resources from intensive agricultural cultivation.
- To evaluate the environmental and socio-economic impact of the project actions and its contribution to LIFE Key Project level Indicators.
- To disseminate the project results to the general public and to transfer the results and lessons learnt to strawberry farmers and other relevant stakeholders.