Portugal, Spain and Italy are part of a project funded by the European Union in almost five million euros, which aims to address the potential threats of climate change to agricultural sectors such as wine, olive oil and durum wheat.
The project, called MED-GOLD, started in December 2017 and was presented last week in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, as part of its first general assembly.
The director of Innovation and Development of Sogrape, Antonio Graça, said that this project refers to the three main agri-food sectors of the Mediterranean basin, which explains the implication of Portugal through Sogrape, for wine, Spain through the Andalusian cooperative DCOOP, for olive oil, and Italy, through the Barilla food company, for durum wheat.
“MED-GOLD is the largest European project to increase the resistance of the agri-food chains”, added the scientific coordinator of the project Luigi Ponti, of the Italian agency for sustainable development (ENEA), which involves “giving value to the enormous source of data” that Earth observation systems collect today.
Nube González-Reviriego, researcher from the BSC-CNS and co-leader of the scientific tasks for the wine sector in MED-GOLD, stressed that “the climatic forecasts for the next months, seasons and even the projections on the climate of the next 20 or 30 years, are essential for the development of tools to support decision-making”.
MED-GOLD aims to collect, evaluate and characterize historical series on climate and crop observations, which will serve as the basis for the creation of mathematical models and, from these, to make forecasts of various agricultural years.
With the information generated, businessmen, managers and technicians will be able to make decisions about vineyard plantations, choice of grape varieties and rootstocks or operational planning for each campaign, as well as provisioning, harvesting and other decisions.
MED-GOLD is a four-year project, funded by the European Union within the Horizon 2020 framework and the tools developed will be available for the whole users’ community.