Yachay Tech develops a project that will promote agriculture in Ecuador. Based on Computational Agriculture, it seeks to optimize resources and grow crops intelligently using open source (free) software and hardware as a means to maximize the educational transmission of technology in a practical environment.

The Computational Agriculture project comprises a multidisciplinary team of 5 researchers, 3 of them from Yachay Tech University and 2 external members, who share an interest in the advancement of agricultural sciences through the application of current and cutting-edge computer platforms, such as weather forecasting models and artificial intelligence ratings for evaporation.

The initiative seeks to establish research topics that can apply pure science with the latest generation technologies to the productive reality in Ecuador.

According to José Luis Flores, MSc., Professor at Yachay Tech’s School of Earth Sciences, Energy and Environment: “computational agriculture is a concept that is born from the need to link agriculture with computer science to maximize primary production based on the use of technological tools, reducing the use of resources and minimizing the climate footprint of production”.

Flores stated that the use of computational agriculture implies a change in the paradigm of agricultural production, with exhaustive technical monitoring through the use of state-of-the-art software, hardware and technologies that can measure the physiological aspects of crops to correct deficiencies early on and anticipate incidents that affect crop quality.

He pointed out that its importance lies in defining systems based on Precision Agriculture (AP) that are capable of increasing crop yield and optimizing the use of economic resources such as fertilizers, water and pesticides, among other functions.

The computational agriculture approach seeks to foresee the scenarios that will occur in production, which implies a modeling of the resources that will be necessary and their link with the environment in order to estimate production and quality, such as the use of sensors, which allows detailed monitoring of the variables to make adjustments to the modeling or to corroborate it.

In this context, Flores pointed out that Ecuador will benefit from the project as it will increase the productive capacity of agriculture in quantity and quality, based on the forecast of needs, reduction in the use of resources and higher economic income, based on the latest generation production trends.

Yachay Tech will be the first institution to establish a computational agriculture center in Ecuador to establish a platform that articulates knowledge.

The initiative includes strategic alliances with public, private, national and international institutions to share information and finance specific projects.

Currently, Yachay Tech has implemented a version of Agrineer.org’s computational agricultural tools, with a focus on the Andes Mountains region: Growth Degrees Calculator (GDC) and Soil Moisture Estimator (SME).

This is the first step for Ecuador to join the technological race in cutting-edge agricultural production. The Computational Agriculture project has a website with more information and tools: www.yachay.openfabtech.org/


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