In order to share its innovative experience in pistachio cultivation, Grupo Pistacyl was invited to participate in the II International Course on Design, Management and Innovation in Irrigation organized by the General Subdirectorate of Irrigation, Natural Paths and Rural Infrastructures of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to promote knowledge about processes that favor better water management.
The president of the group, Alfredo Pérez, was in charge of giving a presentation on October 27 to the participants in the course, 43 technicians from rural areas from 10 countries in Europe, America and Africa, in which he presented some of the projects that the company has been developing to improve pistachio cultivation and optimize the use of water resources.
In his speech, Alfredo Pérez, narrated how since its inception, Pistacyl has opted for research to determine which variety of pistachio and cultivation techniques were the most suitable for Castile and Leon. Thus, he recalled that between 2010 and 2012 the company developed a first R&D&I project with the endorsement of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) and the technical collaboration of the Castile and Leon Agrarian Technological Institute (Itacyl ).
This project, the first investigation of these characteristics that was carried out in Spain, consisted of the analysis of the behavior of rootstocks of the main pistachio varieties that exist in the world that were subjected to different planting systems, treatments and cultivation techniques to verify its results in the development and growth of trees, productivity, resistance to pests and diseases and water stress.
Alfredo Pérez also detailed another innovative study that Grupo Pistacyl is currently developing to parameterize pistachio cultivation through the use of drones and sensors and that, among other objectives, is allowing to know relevant factors to improve its production, such as true water needs that the pistachio tree has and its yield depending on the irrigation received.
He also referred to the pioneering harvest digitalization project in which the group is immersed and with which a detailed yield map of each of the vines of the plot can be drawn in real time to determine the specific treatments, fertilization and amount of irrigation that are necessary to apply in each of them. With this, it will be possible to improve productivity and favor sustainability also in the cultivation of the vine.
In his presentation, Alfredo Pérez explained that in addition to the production and marketing of its own pistachio, Grupo Pistacyl offers a specialized advisory service in the cultivation of this dried fruit with which “we want to contribute our grain of sand so that they do not commit the same mistakes as us. We have worked a lot and invested a lot in research for it,” he added.
However, he warned about the exaggerated expectation that has arisen around the cultivation of this dried fruit, which has come to be known as the new “green gold”. In this sense, he assured that it is necessary to be prudent, to be informed and to analyze the
investments in detail, “since they are for more than 20 years”.
Framed within the MAPA Continuing Training Plan 2022, the II International Course on Design, Management and Innovation in Irrigation takes place from March 28 to November 15 in online format with the aim of promoting better water management and sustainable irrigation that contribute to promoting rural development.
The implementation of new information and communication technologies (ICT), the more and more widespread use of big data and the Internet of Things (IOT) in irrigation management, as well as the use of drones and their incorporation into the BIM methodology, they play a transcendental role, as instruments to help decision-making in the management of irrigation systems, which makes it necessary to train technicians with a specific profile to exploit and improve said systems.
Hence, the fundamental axes of the course are the commitment to innovation, digitalization in irrigation and water governance, referring to the political, economic, social and administrative framework.