World population is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050 and food requirement will be increased proportionally. Wheat production must be increased by 60-100% to meet the demand in 2050. However, in the Mediterranean (MED) region arable lands decreased from 0.38 ha person to 0.23 between 1970 and 2000 with a projected decline to 0.15 ha per person by 2050. At the same time, agriculture is a major economic sector in terms of its capacity to generate employment and income for a large fraction of the MED population. In most southern MED countries (Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and Tunisia), it is already providing employment for 20 to 30% of the population. With appropriate improvement practices, this potential can be exploited with substantial economic effect. However, food production of MED region is not enough to sustain its domestic population, despite having suitable climate and land. Most countries in MED region imports agricultural crops. MED countries share serious challenges related to geographical and physical features, that decreases agricultural productivity as a result of climate change. Growing competition for freshwater resources for different users and uses is already jeopardizing agricultural productivity in MED Region. Forecasts indicate a MED temperature increase between 2 and 4°C, while a decrease in rainfall between 4% and 30% by 2050. Because of the challenges of climate change, the scarcity of resources, demographic growth, contamination, desertification, degradation of arable lands and loss of biodiversity, there is an urgent need to invest in improving the productivity, farming efficiency and agricultural sustainability5; especially on the greenhouses where optimum conditions can be provided while protecting the inside products from all unpredictable and uncontrollable negativity of environmental changes. The challenges can be listed as the following:
SusMedHouse project will provide significant contributions to overcoming the above mentioned problems by combining hi-tech artificial intelligence with innovative greenhouse applications. The core part will be AI, that will include:
AN INOVATIVE PROCESS
Hi-tech, greenhouse specialised optimization mechanisms and sensory network to reach ideal plant growth with limited resources independent from the season and location.
Sunlight and Lighting
Sunlight and Lighting optimisation, that will contain the solar control coatings and PV panels as agrophotovoltaics to increase the efficiency in the greenhouse.
Decision support system
Decision support system (DSS) to increase the efficiency by providing real time data and showing expected outcomes for actions; owing to pest and pathogen monitoring, early warning system, condition optimiser algorithms, grid and market connected cost calculator.
Real time biosensors
Real time biosensor development, to diminish the used resources and boost the efficiency. To sum up, the SusMedHouse will provide sustainable, competitive, eco-friendly and high-tech greenhouse production also promoting year-round safe food production in the MED region.
Pest and pathogen detection
Precise pest and pathogen detection in order to increase efficiency and food safety while reducing used chemicals.
Biodegradable growth media development from circular waste streams which will be eco-friendly and reduce the harmless effect of pest and pathogens.
Increase greenhouse production quantity and quality by boosting overall efficiency at least 20%.
Develop new safer methods for pest and pathogen management.
Efficient resource usage by optimising especially energy, soil and water resources.
Contribute to circular economy in agriculture, providing sustainability.
Create fully automated eco-friendly greenhouses with less intensive hand-labour.