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Belgian Potato Industry launches industrial potato monitoring platform 'iPot'

iPot participants (Courtesy VILT)
The Belgian potato sector federation Belgapom is partnering with research institutions to developed a platform to increase the efficiency of potato production. The iPot platform, which is short for “industrial potato monitoring”, combines data assembled via drones in the air and satellites in space.

According to Belgapom, Belgium is the biggest exporter of frozen potato products in the world. The availability of a sufficient crop is, therefore, crucial, but production isn’t at full capacity, said Belgapom in a statement. The new geo-informatics platform should help to change this by integrating weather data, soil maps, growth models, field observations, aerial photos and satellite images.

iPot should enable a more efficient monitoring of the potatoes in the field, including growth, quality risks and expected yield throughout the season.

The platform is a pilot project of three years, a collaboration between Belgapom, the Flemish Institute for Technical Research (Vito), the University of Liège and the Centre Wallon de Recherches Agronomiques (CRA-W). The Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo) supports the project financially.
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Belgapom is an organisation representing the interest of the Belgian Potato Processing companies