January 2014 – June 2015
This project in partnership with the UNDP is called “Agriculture Response for Development” (ARD). Its goal is to improve water management by implementing and promoting innovative and efficient pilot technologies and practices in the Domaine de Taanayel, particularly in apple orchards.
This is done by installing in a 3ha apple orchard:
- A computerized electrical system connected to sensors for measuring water content in the soil and soil temperature
- A system for measuring the growth of the plant called dedrometer. arcenciel has installed 2 types of dendrometers: one for the tree trunks and another one for the fruit. It measures the size variation of the fruit and the trunk in response to irrigation or other climatic factors.
- A phytogram sensor that penetrates inside the tree trunk and measures the water and ion flow in order to optimize the irrigation process and to avoid any excess in water and/or in fertilization.
- Dosatron water powered dosing pumps to control the amount of fertilizer in the system, and thus reduce the unnecessary use of fertilizers, which pollute water.
- A weather station providing data on rainfall, temperature, humidity and other climatic condition. This weather station is combined with an integrated pest management (IPM) software giving an alarm when conditions are favorable to the development of certain pests. This limits the unnecessary use of pesticides in the Domaine and in other agricultural exploitations in the Beqaa.
- A set of electrical pumps that take order from an irrigation controller that analyzes all the previous data and take the irrigation decision. These pumps work on solar energy; this reduces hugely fuel use in irrigation.
Moreover, training and awareness sessions are given to university students and to farmers, and awareness panels on the advantages of the demonstrative technologies installed for visitors is created. This project is expected to build more capacity for farmers, and to capitalize and disseminate experience.