Posted on 1st March 2019 at 11:40
Following on from our recent discussion with Agri-guru Laurence Olins, we have talked to Sarig Duek, CEO of Phytech, an innovative international agri-business headquartered in Tel Aviv, capitalising on the need to actively manage resources, specifically water, in response to climatic change. Phytech sees the challenge of water management as crucial to successful agri-practice, and in a world where population is predicted to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, technical innovation will be one of the key tools for successful production. We are facing diminishing land resources, decreasing food resources and increasing food demand. This is one of the solutions to those rapidly increasing pressures.
Sarig explained that there is a crucial need to optimise the key inputs to producing a crop, namely labour, water, fertiliser, and energy use in order to enhance yield. Phytech have developed a sensor which is connected to individual plant stems and provides data in real-time on plant stress status. This enables the farmer to ensure that inputs to the crop are managed in the most resource effective way possible. It’s clever stuff, and Phytech supports farmers in some of the most extreme climates for growing crops, including Australia, Israel and the mid-west of the USA. It has a global communications system, interconnected with cloud-based servers and web-based software.
As Sarig says, it’s all about data – after all knowledge is power, even at the individual plant level. This is real-time continuous plant feedback – effectively the plant talks to the farmer constantly updating its status and allowing for small tweaks to the inputs with big impact, helping farmers to transform their irrigation practices with the most efficient and effective schedule.