FruitCREWS 1st Annual Meeting

FruitCREWS, hosted its 1st annual meeting on 10-11th of July 2023 at the historic University of Bologna Residential Centre (CEUB), Bertinoro (Italy). The event brought together over 70 participants, including key stakeholders such as industry experts, researchers, and international members from 23 EU and EXTRA EU countries.

The 1st annual FruitCREWS meeting served as a platform for knowledge sharing and laid the groundwork for future collaborations and advancements in sustainable fruit production. It united global stakeholders in the fruit industry to address the critical challenge of sustainable water management. The event demonstrated the power of collaboration, as experts and participants from diverse backgrounds came together to share their knowledge, experiences, and cutting-edge technologies. The emphasis on physiological datasets and models reinforced the significance of data-driven decision-making for effective irrigation strategies, ensuring that water resources are used efficiently. FruitCREWS intends to advocate for sustainable water management practices through engagement with policymakers, influencing regulations, and promoting incentives for adopting sustainable water use techniques. The showcased sensors and decision support systems highlighted the role of innovative technology in precision irrigation, enabling farmers to optimize water usage and minimize environmental impacts. With collaboration, FruitCREWS remains at the forefront of driving transformative change in the fruit industry's approach to water management.

The 2-day meeting featured a dynamic blend of plenary discussions and a field trip. Working groups delved into various topics, including the assessment of physiological datasets for irrigation sensitivity, sustainable irrigation models based on physiological parameters, irrigation strategies, the advantages and constraints of decision support systems, and the best ways to generate guidelines for policymakers. Over 25 speakers presented their cases, fostering in-depth discussions and knowledge exchange. A workshop on the 12th of July showcased cutting-edge sensors and decision support systems from eight companies (IRRIFRAME, NETAFIM, DELTA-T, FLORAPULSE, TREETOSCOPE, SENTEK, HYDROSOPH/ECOMATIK, SYSMAN/NETSENS) facilitating an exchange of ideas and best practices. A round table with researchers from the United States, Egypt, South Africa, Israel, Turkey and Portugal presented the situation of their countries in relation to the topic "Sustainable technologies and innovation for water management: current situation and solutions adopted in different fruit producing regions around the world".

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