Tropical Agriculture 4.0: Efficient Water Management

Call for Proposals
USD 200.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 400.000
Other agencies
Total Amount:
USD 600.000
Participating countries:
Colombia Colombia Ecuador Ecuador Honduras Honduras
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 33% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 67%

Executive Summary

The water use for agriculture has been normally named “inefficient”. Farmers irrigate without technical principles, thereby incurring deficiencies impacting crop sanity and final yield. In addition, with the excess, overuse of the water resource is generated. This scenario and the current climate change effects lead producers and entities responsible for managing the water resource to focus efforts on improving the use and management of water. Thus, for those entities in charge of generating technical solutions, is a challenge to contribute to the doses approximation, frequency, and care of the water sources. This proposal ""Tropical" Agriculture 4.0: efficient management of water resources" derived from the results of the project "New technologies to increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture in LAC by 2030", aims to deliver to the farmers of four crops (avocado, cocoa, Tahiti acid lime and papaya) in three countries (Colombia, Ecuador and Honduras), an adjusted irrigation program for the production needs at each crop. Productive age plots have been selected for this purpose. For Colombia, the research will be carried out on the four indicated crops. In Ecuador, cacao crop has been selected. In Honduras, cacao, Tahiti sour lime and papaya. A monitoring network with sensors will be installed at each plot to measure soil moisture and climatic variables. The information will be transmitted to a central server using Internet of Things (IoT) techniques. Specific correlations will be identified by site, in the soil-water-plant-atmosphere system. The analysis will generate an irrigation program for each crop: volume, frequency, and period. The program which depends on the moisture content of the soil (water balance method), will be delivered in real time by a Web application. The application will be accessible to the community (producers, academics, technicians from the agricultural sector, scientists and entities related to transfer technology). Downloading steps, application uses, network operation, assembly, disassembly, maintenance, expansion, and data management will be socialized (trained) with the community. Further, a training program will be developed, which includes face-to-face events at the experimental site and virtual ones. This program will support the assimilation of concepts and direct management of equipment.

The result of this project is to achieve the objective of increasing the efficient use of water by applying Agriculture 4.0 technologies in tropical crops of commercial and social significance.

The technological solution

The project will deliver the technical irrigation management recommendation for three scenarios:

  1. Standard program for producers who cannot access digital technologies, applicable in the area where the technology was developed.
  2. Recommendation for producers not connected to the IoT network, operating the application manually, and can be used in any condition where soil moisture monitoring is available.
  3. For producers connected to the IoT network who receive irrigation recommendations directly from the application.


The project aims to speed up the adoption of digital practices in small and medium-sized agribusinesses, promoting precision farming to enhance productivity and optimize water usage. Recognizing existing technological gaps, the project starts by introducing advanced technologies to farms. This outcome will be achieved by meeting the specific goals of the project:

The initial goal is to "develop precision irrigation technologies for four fruit species in the Valle del Cauca region, Colombia." This involves validating irrigation recommendations for avocado, cocoa, Tahiti acid lime, and papaya, which can then be shared with the community. Additionally, we'll use data from monitoring the first and second cycles of the Colombia pilot to create a user-friendly web application. This application will enable direct irrigation control using information from the climate and soil moisture monitoring IoT network, leading to more efficient irrigation practices.

Moving on to the second goal, which is to "generate a diagnosis of current water use and an irrigation program for cocoa cultivation in Ecuador and cocoa, Tahiti acid lime, and papaya in Honduras," we aim to provide these countries' communities with an initial approach to managing irrigation for prioritized crops. The diagnosis will allow for a comparison between the current state of water use and the benefits achieved through technological advancements.

The third specific goal is to "implement a technology transfer program for the prioritized species in Colombia, Ecuador, and Honduras." This involves training individuals involved in the value chain of the prioritized species. Direct training will be provided to a total of 2,040 beneficiaries across the three countries, through 24 face-to-face events and 21 virtual events. Furthermore, in line with the training objective, the experimental facilities will be accessible to the wider community during unscheduled times for those interested in learning, exploring, or participating in the project.


Colombia: 1. Colombian Agricultural Research Corporation - AGROSAVIA. 2. Visualiti SAS. 3. Irrigation District Users Association - ASORUT

Ecuador: Technical University of Manabí - UTM

Honduras: Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano - U. ZAMORANO

Sustainable Development Goals

Affordable and clean energy Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (AGROSAVIA) - Colombia
  • Universidad Técnica de Manabí (UTM) - Ecuador
  • Universidad Zamorano (ZAMORANO) - Honduras
  • Asociación de usuarios del distrito de riego RUT (ASORUT) - Colombia

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map

Publications and resources

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)