CROSS-BORDER EUROPEAN TERRITORIAL COOPERATION PROGRAMME INTERREG VA ``GREECE-ITALY`` 2014-2020

Ninety years ago the world population was 2 billion, today, we have reached 7.6 billion. In 2050, the UN estimates that we will reach almost 10 billion people. It is easy to imagine how, from now on, we need to take care of how to provide, in a sustainable way, the food needs of such a vast and constantly growing population.

The agri-food sector suffers from over-use of natural resources that will not be able to meet the growing demand. New techniques and technologies are already being tested for some time and, if implemented correctly, they will be able to achieve sustainable food production, such as precision farming, for example.

The Interreg TAGs project (Technological and business innovation services to stimulate the local Agro-food ecosystems and to support a cross border collaboration among local action groups) aims to facilitate the transfer of technical and scientific innovations from research centres to farmers.

Thanks to the innovation of tools and services with high technological potential, in fact, the farmer will be able to optimize the potential of his company, intervening only where and when it is really necessary to intervene, thus avoiding unnecessary expenses and ensuring environmental sustainability for the territory.

The Partners of the TAGs project will develop processes, solutions, technologies and best practices with a view to optimizing the available resources. The ideas generated in this way will be tested and experimented in two pilot sites, one in Italy and one in Greece, in order to ensure the real effectiveness of the proposed results.

Finally, the results achieved will be shared at cross-border level through the creation of a Cross Border cluster composed of companies in the agri-food sector, research centres, Local Action Groups and administrations belonging to both Italian and Greek realities, in order to create a real innovation promotion network in support of all territorial realities.

Among the innovative solutions experimented by the TAGs Project are

  • Remote sensing systems to obtain information on the state of health of crops;
  • Systems for the detection of pathogens, water shortage stress and nutrition;
  • Systems for the prediction of agricultural quality and production;
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) analysis for better environmental impact assessment;
  • Assistance and support services for disease control, irrigation needs and fertilizer management.

Services offered to farms include

  • Creation of a Cross Border Cluster;
  • Business and Marketing Services, to quantify the actual economic benefits based on the different methods of precision farming in terms of investments, direct and indirect costs and labour;
  • Internationalization Services.

Pilot Sites

Two pilot sites have been identified to test the solutions designed within the project:

  • A field involved in the cultivation of tomatoes in the lake area of Agoulinitsa (in the Prefecture of Ilia);
  • A field engaged in the cultivation of apricots, located in the city of Putignano (in the province of Bari).

 

ITALIAN PILOT SITE

The LAG Land of Trulli and Barsento has identified in its territory of competence the site suitable for the best achievement of the project results. It was thus identified a company that would fully meet the needs proposed by the project TAGs, specializing in the cultivation of apricots and more precisely in the cultivation of three different varieties: Faralia, Farbaly, Farlis.

The company has water collection and storage tanks in the company’s center that act as a stable and continuous lung of water for irrigation use, there is also installed a latest generation weather station equipped with a GSM card that can send data to a smartphone device, relating to atmospheric humidity, soil and area temperatures, wind speed, the mm of water evaporated or fallen due to precipitation, the detection of % humidity on the leaves, the dew point all recorded throughout the day. This station has already been set up to interface with other sensors provided for in the TAGs project, which will be installed in the pilot field.

GREEK PILOT SITE

The University of Patras has identified in its territory of competence the suitable site for the best achievement of the project results. The area in question is the lake area of Agoulinitsa, an area currently drained and covered by a large agricultural and forest area. Before the drainage, the coastal area of the Agoulinitsa lake was covered by a sand dune and vegetation strongly used to settle on saline soil. Salinity is in fact one of the characteristic factors of this pilot site and, at the same time, one of the greatest reasons for soil degradation in this area.

The strong salinity of the soil allows an improvement in the taste of the tomato (by increasing sugar and acid levels) but decreasing its shelf life and the incidence of late flowering rot. It was therefore decided to take advantage of the added value of tomato cultivation, also taking into account the presence in the area of two large local industries engaged in the production and sale of both tomato juice and other products based on this product. With regard to the tests foreseen by the project, this field will allow to study and analyse the effectiveness of agro-electromagnetic induction methods.

The expected results of the TAGs project:

  • Definition, development and validation of innovative support services based on the use of remote and proximal sensors to implement a cost-effective solution for fertigation in water-intensive crops.

  • Creation of two different pilot sites in Puglia and Western Greece with the aim of transferring appropriate innovations to local stakeholders.

  • Development of an open ICT tool accessible from the project website, aimed at disseminating open knowledge to a wider audience and encouraging interactions between technology and research providers, enterprises and administrations.

  • Implementation of the LCA on the impact of water and fertilizers on the system, in order to determine the efficient use of water and fertilizers in precision agricolture.

  • Definition of new business models to assess the economic benefits of the proposed technologies and promote dissemination.

  • Evaluation of requirements, to create the statute and guidelines for the cross-border cluster, with the aim of promoting innovation-driven cooperation between research and technology institutions, companies and administrations operating in different territories.

The effectiveness of innovative techniques will be assessed through a broad set of indicators

Precision irrigation water use efficiency

Efficiency of nitrogen use for site-specific fertilisation

Several quanti-qualitative indicators of production

Project Partnership

Work Packages

The project foresees a total of 5 Work Packages divided as follows:

  • MANAGEMENT COSTS: in this WP reference is made to all the actions necessary for the management and coordination of the project;
  • INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY: in this WP reference is made to all the communication actions aimed at ensuring a correct image of the project;
  • DEFINITION OF INNOVATION SUPPORT SERVICES (ISS), LEGAL, AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CROSS BORDER CLUSTER OF LOCAL ACTION GROUPS: this WP will define the main activities in the geographical areas of interest and will adapt practices and technologies to the specific needs of the partners;
  • VALIDATION OF ISS AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER TO LOCAL ENTERPRISES: this WP contains all the actions carried out for the validation of the selected technologies, which will be applied directly to the two demonstration sites, with the aim of validating the technological approach and disseminating the solutions throughout the area.
  • CLUSTERING, NETWORKING AND CREATION OF CROSS BORDER CLUSTER OF LOCAL ACTION GROUPS: this WP contains all the activities aimed at creating a cross-border cluster with the aim of increasing the competitiveness of enterprises in the agri-food sector.

Below you can consult and download all the outputs generated at the end of the above-mentioned activities

News Eventi

2nd International Conference for TAGs Project

UPATRAS (University of Patras), in cooperation with TAGs Partners CETMA (the European Research Center for Technologies Design and Materials), CREA (the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, the project Lead Partner), GAL BARSENTO (the Local Action Group TERRA DEI TRULLI E DI BARSENTO) and RWG (the Region of Western Greece) will organize the 2nd International Conference entitle“Precision agriculture and Innovation…

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TAGs – Skype Conference

Participants: Object of the conference: Request for project extension – approval Mrs Laura D’Andrea introduced the object of the meeting and ask to Mr. Paolo Castrignanò to illustrate the conditions necessary to request the project extension. He notes the presence of the representatives of the PPs and begins the intervention by thanking all the PPs…

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Riunione di lavoro del vicerettore dello sviluppo rurale, Th. Vassilopoulos sul progetto TAG e sull’attuazione dell’agricoltura di precisione

Oggi, lunedì 11 novembre 2019, il Vice sviluppo rurale Theodoros Vassilopoulos ha avuto un incontro con i membri del team di progetto TAG per l’agricoltura di precisione e partner dell’Università di Patrasso nel suo ufficio di Patrasso. Il gruppo ha informato il sig. Vassilopoulos sull’avanzamento del progetto e sullo stato dell’arte dell’agricoltura di precisione nell’area lacustre di…

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I primi risultati del progetto TAG al 29 ° Congresso della Società ellenica di frutta e verdura

La Regione della Grecia occidentale e l’ Università di Patrasso hanno presentato i primi risultati dell’azione pilota TAG – “Servizi di innovazione tecnologica e commerciale per stimolare gli ecosistemi agroalimentari locali e sostenere la cooperazione transfrontaliera tra i gruppi di azione locale” della Hellenic Society of Fruit and Vegetables Science intitolata “tecnologie all’avanguardia”, tenutosi giovedì 17 ottobre 2019 a…

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TAGS Project Meeting – Partner della regione della Grecia occidentale e dell’Università di Patrasso

Concluso con successo il 26 luglio 2019, l’ incontro di partenariato della Regione della Grecia occidentale e l’Università di Patrasso , nell’ambito del progetto TAGs “Servizi di innovazione tecnologica e commerciale per stimolare gli ecosistemi agroalimentari locali e sostenere la cooperazione transfrontaliera” , finanziato dal programma InterregV / A Grecia-Italia 2014-2020. Durante l’incontro, hanno discusso dello stato di avanzamento del…

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Project co-funded by European Union, European Regional Development Funds (E.R.D.F.) and by National Funds of Greece and Italy