BASE (BAnana SEnsing) is a project in the area of precision farming promoted by GESBA-Empresa de Gestão do Sector da Banana and co-financed by PRODERAM (Rural Development Program of the Autonomous Region of Madeira 2020), which aims to improve quality, increase production and enhance the “Banana da Madeira” product and brand.

GESBA is the main promoter of the project. The company markets the production of more than 2900 producers, who work small and medium farms, and that altogether totals more than 650 hectares, and makes banana the agricultural crop with more expression in the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

Altice Labs, the University of Madeira and ARDITI (Regional Agency for the Development of Research, Technology and Innovation) are partners in the project, besides GESBA.

One of the focuses of the project is, through continuous monitoring using sensors, to identify variables that, in the production cycle of the banana, influence decisively its growth and then act on these same variables in order to introduce improvements in production and marketing of the product.

Weather station and air quality sensors

The introduction of sensors, as well as the processing of the data they collect, will allow GESBA and its commercial partners to make the transition from classic agriculture to modern agriculture, based on technological means that will transmit, in a reliable and continuous way, the essential evaluation parameters to project in a much more assertive way the commercialization of the “Banana da Madeira” product.

In the scope of this project, Altice Labs is responsible for the specification, acquisition and integration of weather stations, soil and air quality sensors, and leaf wetness sensors.

One of the innovative aspects of the project was the integration of NPK soil sensors, responsible for measuring nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium levels. This process is currently done in a completely manual way, with regular field collections.

The use of sensors for data collection is the most efficient way to obtain the necessary information on variables that can affect field productivity and predict the harvest time of the crops. The data from the various sensors are transmitted via 4G network to Altice Labs’ Live!Data platform, where the Live!Green application is run, which transforms the sensor data into useful information for the end user, who can thus obtain insights (useful knowledge) more quickly.