By Comunicaciones

(Washington DC., May 29th, 2020) FONTAGRO announces the start of execution of this project, winner of the 2019 call “From Science to Impact: innovations for climate-smart agriculture through AgTech solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The initiative will be financed for a total of US $ 459,004, with contributions from FONTAGRO and organizations from Argentina, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Spain and the Netherlands.

Most of the family agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean uses irrigation based on empirical knowledge and traditional cultural practices, which has caused inadequate management of the water resource. The use of the Irrigation Advisory Service (SAR), widely spread in other regions of the planet, promotes conservationist and respectful management of water, providing farmers with the necessary information to achieve more efficient management of irrigation facilities, as well as data on the water needs of their crops, enhancing the saving and better use of this resource and of fertilizers, which increases crop yield and improves the economic indicators of the farms. For this purpose, the SAR has a network of agroclimatic stations whose maintenance and management is carried out by the service itself. The objective of the project is to implement the SAR using information and communication technologies in pilot areas of Argentina, Nicaragua and Uruguay. The direct beneficiaries of this project will be 14,500 producers in Argentina, Uruguay and Nicaragua.

The National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) – Argentina is the lead executing agency, and the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) – Uruguay, the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) – Nicaragua, and the Higher Research Council Scientific (CSIC) – Spain act as co-executors. In addition, the following institutions are associated to this project: Wageningen University & Research (WUR) from the Netherlands and the company KILIMO S.A (KILIMO) from Argentina.

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FONTAGRO was created 1998 with the purpose of promoting the increase of the competitiveness of the agri-food sector, ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources and the reduction of poverty in the region. The objective of FONTAGRO is to establish itself as a sustainable financing mechanism for the development of agricultural technology and innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean and Spain, and to establish a forum for the discussion of priority topics of technological innovation. The member countries are: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the last 21 years 159 regional agricultural innovation platforms have been co-financed for an amount of US $ 119.5 million, which has reached 531 institutions and 33 countries worldwide.

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