LIFE GAIA Sense
(Innovative Smart Farming services supporting Circular Economy in Agriculture)

Objective: By 2050, global population is expected to reach 9 billion, which means a 70% increase in food production, so the world’s food scenario is changing fast. The nutritional needs of future generations will put further enormous pressure on freshwater resources. Historically, the increased demand for food production was based on high use of fertilizers, pesticides and water, as well as fossil fuels for the agricultural sector. The irrational use of these resources explains the negative effect of agriculture in major environmental issues like poor soil and water management, low resource efficiency, poor air quality and greenhouse effect. The LIFE GAIA Sense project targets this environmental problem through the development of a system on how to increase crop production using all necessary resources in the most efficiently way. Towards this aim, GAIA Sense will be developed and demonstrated, an innovative “Smart Farming” solution that aims at reducing the consumption of natural resources, as a way to protect the environment and support Circular Economy models. The project will launch 18 demonstration campaigns across Greece, Spain and Portugal covering 9 crops.

LHTEE Contribution: In the project LIFE GAIA Sense, LHTEE will undertake the quantification of the air quality impact of GAIA Sense application in the campaign areas through air quality measurements and model applications. A combined use of dispersion modelling and measurements of several atmospheric pollutants is employed to assess the emission, dispersion and deposition of gases and particulates, taking advantage of collected meteorological data, soil moisture and temperature as provided by the on-site GAIA sensors and meteorological stations. The atmospheric dispersion calculations follow a multiscale approach, based on a two-way coupled model system incorporating the mesoscale model MEMO/MARS-aero and the microscale model MIMO, in conjunction with a soil model for the simulation of water movement and solutes runoff and dispersion. A newly-developed physical module is used to simulate mass transport across the soil-atmosphere interface as well as provide season-dependent subscale parameterisations for different types of crop land coverage. In addition to the mathematical models, a Life Cycle Assessment environmental impact assessment model is implemented for the estimation of pollutants fate using international standards and eco- indicators.

Funded by: EU, LIFE 2017


Major Partners:

  1. Neuropublic S.A. Pliroforikis & Epikoinonion, Greece
  2. Confederação Nacional de Cooperativas Agrícolas e do Crédito Agrícola de Portugal CCRL, Portugal
  3. Viña Costeira SCG, Spain
  4. Gaia Epicheirein S.A. Psifiakon Ypiresion, Greece
  5. Agricultural Cooperative Partnership Mirabello Union S.A., Greece
  6. Agrotikos Synetairismos Epexergasias kai Poliseos Oporokipeftikon Proionton (ASEPOP) Velventou SYN.P.E, Greece