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Out of the 484 proposals presented, three projects have been coordinated by Spanish universities, one of which is from the CREA (Regional Centre of Water Studies)
The PRIMA foundation has funded a UCLM project about sustainable production in Mediterranean water environments
The PRIMA foundation has funded a UCLM project about sustainable production in Mediterranean water environments
The PRIMA foundation (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) has funded the SUPROMED (Sustainable Production in Mediterranean Agricultural-Ecosystems) project coordinated by the research group "Agronomy and Irrigation Engineering" from the Regional Centre of Water Studies (CREA). SUPROMED will provide a holistic system for managing water, energy (including solar power) and other means of production in the Mediterranean agricultural system, in an attempt to make it more resistant to climate change in socio-economic and environmental terms.

Congratulations go to the research group from the University of Castilla-La Mancha, "Agronomy and Irrigation Engineering" after SUPROMED was one of the three projects coordinated by Spanish universities to be chosen by the PRIMA foundation.

This research group , made up of professors from the Higher Technical School of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering, will develop a platform for end users based on information technologies which integrates a support system into decision-taking, which has been "specially designed to advise farmers and technicians as regards managing crop and livestock systems in the Mediterranean efficiently", the group has stated.

To this end, SUPROMED will incorporate a validated set of models and tools (MOPEC,DOPIR-SOLAR..) into an online platform in order to increase the production and income of farms by decreasing their consumption of water and other supplies such as energy or fertilizers and using these more efficiently, thereby reducing the environmental impact of their agricultural activity.

"SUPROMED uses georeferences in real time for climate, soils and crops, together with satellite images to monitor the growth and development of crops and to programme irrigation creating agro-climatic and zoning classifications, with alerts for agriculture, along with drought forecasting tools related to climate change", the researchers explained. Additionally, it monitors and forecasts droughts as this is essential for implementing measures for reducing their harmful impact, and this is very useful for managing water resources efficiently.

The SUPROMED platform will be calibrated in three extensive display areas: Spain (Albacete), Lebanon (the Beqaa Valley) and Tunisia (the Sidi Bouzid region). Moreover, an ambitious training and transference programme in former countries and Morocco will be carried out, helping farmers to incorporate SUPROMED successfully into their agricultural practices. Since the project tasks must be performed throughout full crop cycles, the project will begin next October.

The project has a budget of two million euros, will last three years and seven research groups and three companies from Spain are participating in it which are CREA, ITAP and HISPATEC);as well as SEMIDE from France; the University of Thessaly and 3DSA from Greece; the Lebanese University and DIFAF from Lebanon and INRGREF and INGC from Tunisia.

The main aim of PRIMA is to design new lines of research and development to improve the availability of water and sustainable agricultural production in an area which has been highly affected by climate change, urbanization and the growth in population. PRIMA groups together eleven European countries (Germany, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain,France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal) and eight countries with coasts on the Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey) and has been joint-funded by its participants and the European Union programme, Horizon 2020.

UCLM Communication Office Albacete, 7th of February 2019

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