News

VISCA at UfM Climate Week 2019

The UfM Climate Week is an occasion to gather a wide range of actors (UfM members’ representatives, civil society, IFIs, scientific experts…) around different topics, all related to climate action in the Mediterranean region. By organising this event, the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean provides a discussion and networking framework aiming to create and enhance synergies among the different climate‑related actors, and to enrich their exchanges.

The Seventh Meeting of the UfM Climate Change Expert Group (UfM CCEG), which was chaired by the UfM Co‑Presidency, Jordan and the European Union, and opened by European Commission DG NEAR Director General Christian Danielsson and the UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel. Among other issues, this meeting included the presentation of the CLIMA‑MED – EU Climate Action in the Southern Neighbourhood project, and the update on the scientific report Risks associated to climate and environmental changes in the Mediterranean region, carried out by the MedECC network (Mediterranean Experts on Climate and Environmental Change).


A dedicated workshop on the impact of climate change on the agricultural sector, during which the study "An assessment of the impact of Climate Change on the Agricultural sector – foreseen developments and policy measures" was presented. BSC and UT SEMIDE both participated at the session and present VISCA project as an example of innovation projects with the application of climate services in the agriculture sector.

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Replicability of VISCA: Wine-grapes, Olives & Cereals – Challenges, Requirements and Funding

One of the objectives of VISCA project is to evaluate the replicability potential in the wine sector in different countries globally as well as to evaluate the replicability of the tool in other crops such as (olive oil, cereals, etc.). This evaluation involves exploring EU funding mechanisms for further deployment. During VISCA 2nd Stakeholders’ Workshop, end-users and members from the Project Advisory Board participated at a session to gather inputs on the challenges, requirements and funding for the replicability of VISCA which are summarised below.

Climate change: Challenges facing the Agriculture sector

Climate change is threatening different varieties of agriculture species such as wine-grapes, olives and cereals which might cause a significant reduction in crop quantity and quality. Some of the impacts of climate change include the following:  

  • Drought and heat waves - in southern regions of the Mediterranean basin– more frequent drought periods together with higher temperatures, especially during the summer, have resulted in water scarcity and, consequently, less water is available for irrigation.
  • Frost - In northern and southern Europe, e.g. Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, agricultural productivity has been facing longer frost periods than usual which damage the crops.
  • Wildfires - Warmer and drier conditions are expected throughout Europe in the coming decades which will probably exacerbate wildfires. According to the Emergency Management Service of the EU agency Copernicus as of March 1, there have been 480 wildfires in 2019 across Europe.[1]
  • Extreme events - High intensity rainfall and/or hail, among other extreme events, have been extended and become more severe in Europe and beyond. The rate of these events is expected to increase due to climate change.[2]

The main challenges of the wine-grapes, olive and cereals sectors in the context of climate change were identified as the following:

  • To keep the quality and production of crops
  • To deal with extreme events and variations in climate conditions
  • To manage the irrigation efficiently according to existent resources and weather conditions
  • To prevent or minimize crop diseases and pests especially with their increasing rate due to climate change
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VISCA concludes its 2nd General Meeting & Stakeholders’ Workshop

Organised by Mastroberardino and the University of Naples (Department of Agricultural Sciences), VISCA project - which is developing climate services to make the wine industry resilient to climate change - held its 2nd General meeting on 10th-11th December 2018 followed by the 2nd Stakeholders Workshop on 12th December 2018 in the premises of Mastroberardino and the Department of Agriculture – Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II who are part of our consortium.

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Using image analysis to accurately determine the number of flowers per bunch for research purposes

Having a reliable method to get the number of flowers in a bunch is critical to analyze the effects of different stresses (biotic or abiotic) on blooming and fruit set. Here, it is presented a simple, yet, accurate method to obtain the number of flowers per bunch using a free software image analyzer. The bunches, are randomly selected at the experimental site and take it to the lab. In the lab, flowers are detached from the calyptra and placed in a black matt plastic sheet. Flowers are gently spread on the plastic sheet to avoid overlapping.  Next, a picture is taken using a camera fixed to a holder. The plastic sheet must have a reference length for the further analysis with the software. The image is processed using the ImageJ software. Once processed, the number and perimeter of each flower are obtained.  The bias analysis gives an overestimate of nearly 10 flowers, which, given the number of flowers per bunch, (for Tempranillo it could be more than 800) it can be considered an acceptable error. However, the bias can be diminished if a specific calibration is set. The images do not need to be clean. Non-desired elements can be removed from the analysis by applying a filtering method. The present methodology provides a simple, fast and precise technique to obtain the number of flowers in a bunch for research purposes.* 

*An abstract presented by Garcia-Tejera, O1, Oliver-Manera, J1 , Mata, M and Girona,Jat the International Congress on Grapevine and Wine Sciences. To download the post, click here.

1Efficient Use of Water Program, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), Parc de Gardeny, Edifici Fruitcentre, 25003 Lleida, Spain

 

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VISCA project at Med'Agri 2018

Organised by the Regional Chamber of Agriculture in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and a multi-sector committee on 16 - 18  October 2018 in Avignon, France, the MED'Agri trade faire was entirely dedicated to the  agricultural production and the agri-technology.

A lot of showcase of innovative techniques were presented during the event. MED'Agri is aimed at professionals of all the agricultural production sectors and farmers and in particular those represented in the South of the France: market gardening, arboriculture, viticulture, olive growing, breeding and also horticulture, beekeeping, truffle, aromatic and fragrant plants, etc. VISCA project was presented at a dedicated stand by SEMIDE as well as the projects involved at the Common Dissemination Booster: WEAM4i and OpIRIS.

For further information, check the official website.

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 730253.