eLEAF's Fruitlook portal: supporting farmers with insights
The FruitLook project is funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and was first made available to farmers in 2010. The FruitLook portal is supporting farmers with insights into their crops, invisible to the naked eye, using satellite-based data. The portal is run by eLEAF, a Dutch high tech agricultural company and in-country support is given by Blue North Sustainability. During the 11th season of FruitLook, as part of ongoing efforts to improve the service and its value to Western Cape farmers, FruitLook will undertaking a “deep dive” implementation support service to farms of different sizes and commodities. This research project is executed by Young Expert Lulama Magenuka.
The objective of the detailed support project is to support the optimal adoption and use of the FruitLook technology at each of the selected farms. The participating farms will be engaged on a weekly basis by the FruitLook team to review and interpret the FruitLook reports in light of the actions taken on the farm in the past week and to review management options for the week ahead. The project will be focused on the transfer of knowledge regarding water conservation and water use efficiency as well as the gathering of detailed records of water use savings and best practices during the 12-month support period. The detailed support project will research and showcase, via detailed case studies, how FruitLook adds value to farmers across multiple commodities and scales of operation. 15 farms have been selected to participate and were selected to cover small scale, emerging and commercial farmers, as well as a range of different commodities.
South African Western Cape farmers have been troubled by draught in the previous seasons due to changes in the climate. This project will support farmers with knowledge and tools to make it possible to save water and improve water use efficiency in order to fight the effects of droughts. The detailed support project will also look at the general field management of the farms, related to for example cover crops on the fields and possible rotations. The cover crops and other farm proceedings can help farmers in terms of nutrient retention, decreasing erosion caused by heavy rainfalls, and coping with higher temperatures caused by the change in climate. The detailed support project will contribute to the sustainable development goal 13 by taking action to combat climate change and finding fit solutions on farms the South African Western Cape.”