Moving the most innovative fertigation techniques to the countryside with the aim of contributing to the environmental and economic sustainability of European irrigation is the aim of the Fertinnowa Conference, which will be held from October 3 to 5 at the Palau de Congresos e Exposiciones de Aguadulce (Almería). For this, the members of Fertinnowa, the European thematic network oriented to the transfer of innovative techniques for a sustainable use of water in fertirrigation of fruits and vegetables, have organized a complete program of conferences, workshops and technological exhibitions to show during three days the more efficient fertigation options adapted to the needs of all climatic zones in Europe, both for protected crops and outdoors.
The program includes the presentation of the ‘Compendium of Fertirrigation’, an ambitious report that has managed to gather, after several years of work, the description, analysis and environmental and economic evaluation of the fertigation techniques used by farmers across Europe. The ‘Compendium of Fertirrigation’, which can already be consulted publicly from the Fertinnowa website (available in English and in preparation for the Spanish edition), makes available to all the agents involved in the implementation chain of irrigation and fertilization technologies (research centers, universities, advisors, companies, producers and distributors) the most up-to-date information on the most efficient fertigation techniques for each climate zone and for each crop management.
The papers will be delivered by international experts of first level, who will address innovation in fertigation in four major blocks: pretreatment, soil fertigation, soil fertigation and post-treatment, with a special impact on reducing the environmental impact associated with irrigation. In addition to purely technical issues, imbalances between legislation, available technology and production in relation to sustainable use of water and fertilizers in agriculture will be addressed. The day of October 5 will be devoted to field visits to different production areas of the province of Almeria to learn greenhouse crops (soil and substrate) and outdoors, nurseries, ornamental crops and a manufacturing company. agricultural plastics. In addition, participants will learn in a guided tour the facilities of the desalination plants Campo de Dalías and Carboneras.
The Fertinnowa Conference will be developed with the theme ‘Sharing good fertigation practices in Europe’ and will have a marked participatory nature, faithful to the principles of this knowledge transfer platform, which was born three years ago to break the gap that prevents the transfer of the latest technologies to producers. The assistance of 30 European farmers selected from among all those who have participated in the comparative survey is expected, as well as entrepreneurs and technology companies from around the world who will present in Almería the latest innovations in fertigation.
Participation as a guest assistant is free and registration is required here. Throughout the event (lectures, technology exhibition area and field visits) simultaneous English / Spanish translation will be offered.
“We want to be useful, we want to share all the existing information and, above all, promote through the sharing of knowledge a new European model of fertigation management based on criteria of sustainability, efficiency and savings,” explains Evangelina Medrano, researcher at the IFAPA Center La Mojonera and one of the organizers of the Fertinnowa Conference. “In European countries, fertirrigated crops often suffer from a water shortage, and the intensity of the crop poses significant potential risks in water quality, so it is not necessary to delay the search for answers to these questions because it is at stake the competitiveness of the field, “adds the IFAPA researcher.
Fertinnowa is a thematic network oriented to the transfer of innovative techniques for a sustainable use of water in fertirrigation. With this purpose, Fertinnowa collects, exchanges, displays and transfers good practices and innovative solutions for a more efficient use of water and nutrients that reduces the environmental impact associated with fruit and vegetable production systems in fertigation. For the development of the project, a direct link with producers and producer organizations, with communities of irrigators, responsible for public administrations, with NGOs, environmental organizations and consumer organizations is essential. All are part of the External Advisory Committee of Fertinnowa, a consulting body to evaluate the evolution of the project and its results.
The Fertinnowa project has European funding within the framework of the research and innovation promotion initiatives included in the Horizon 2020 program. The Spanish participation is represented by the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research (IFAPA), Fundación Cajamar, Universidad de Almería, Center for Scientific and Technological Research of Extremadura (CICYTEX), Navarra Institute of Technologies and Infrastructures Agroalimentarias SA (INTIA), and the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research (IVIA). In addition, public and private entities related to agricultural research and innovation from Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, France, Holland, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and South Africa participate in the project.