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FP6-FOOD-CT-2006-023120
Sustainable Orchard Irrigation for Improving Fruit Quality and Safety

 


ABSTRACT

European countries, especially in the Mediterranean area, need to encourage more sustainable agriculture practices, reducing inputs (e.g., water, fertilisers), and minimising any negative impact on fruit safety and quality

One of the most promising ways to improve the sustainability of irrigated agrosystems is to develop and optimise the orchard water management, adjusting water application for improved crop quality and assuring crop safety. In this sense, the topic of interest of IRRIQUAL project deals with the valuation of new irrigation practices (including water doses implementation, water quality use and fertigation management).

The research methodology will be based on a combination of experiments, field surveys and modelling tools aimed at predicting the impact of a given irrigation practice on the relevant inputs (water, fertilizers) and outputs (yield, quality, safety) of four Mediterranean fruit trees species (Peach, Olive, Almond, Citrus).

Previously to the establishment of such practices, a better knowledge of the effects of different irrigation strategies on crop physiological response, crop quality and crop safety are required.The resulting recommendations on irrigation design and practices will be transferred to farmers by the elaboration of Irrigation Best Management Practices for each target crop and location.

The resulting data and know-how will be transferred also to the irrigation industries by the development of new irrigation technology (including hardware and software components for an automated irrigation equipment), and the optimisation of the irrigation water disinfection using ultrasound technology.

Make click here to see the scheme of the project

- IRRIQUAL is co-funded by the European Commission, DG Research, within the 6th Framework Programme of RTD, Priority 5 - Food quality and safety.

- The views and opinions expressed in this website are purely those of the writers  and may not in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of the European Commision.

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