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CrackSense Consortium Wraps Up Successful First Year: Highlights from Corsica Meeting

Taking place at the Corsican INRAE facility in San Giuliano, the three-day symposium organized by the CrackSense consortium from February 26th to 28th represented a noteworthy achievement in their collective endeavors. Beyond facilitating the exchange of expertise, the event also served as a tribute to Corsica’s agricultural legacy, emphasizing the island’s pivotal role in citrus cultivation, encompassing varieties such as clementines, lemons, and mandarins.

Day 1: Reviewing Progress and Setting Course for the Future

The first day of the consortium meeting featured a comprehensive overview of CrackSense’s achievements across Work Packages (WPs), where coordinators Victor Alchanatis and Avi Sadka outlined overarching project objectives, addressing questions, challenges, and innovative ideas. WP2 focused on TOMMY system’s role in gathering temperature and wetness data from orchards. The amassed dataset will serve as a cornerstone for deep learning processes. WP3 covered crucial aspects, including data processing, morphological data, and remote sensing. Valuable insights derived from experimental plots facilitated the discussion around approaches for fruit cracking estimations in various fruits. WP4 highlighted the importance of data collection, in order to develop tools and solution for mitigation of fruit cracking risks. The first day concluded with WP6, emphasizing dissemination, policy engagement, community building, and business modelling.

Day 2: Planning for the Road Ahead

During the second day of the fruitful consortium meeting, CrackSense partners outlined research activities for 2024 and conducted workshop important to for the overall project objective.

Furthermore, CrackSense consortium discussed following crucial points:

  • The ongoing experimental activities in Israel, Greece, Germany, Lithuania and France
  • Preparation for the upcoming piloting activities on citrus, pomegranate, table grapes and sweet cherries
  • Administrative, technical and financial reporting
  • Exploitation pathways for the CrackSense results.
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Day 3: Exploring Agricultural Innovations

The final day was filled with action as the CrackSense consortium explored farmer organization with its own citrus packing house as well as the remarkable INRAE-CIRAD Citrus germplasm collection.

With around 40 farmers and group structure that consists of Terre d’Agrumes, CORS AGRU Femu bio and Agru Corse, this farmer organization not only supports farmers but also provides strategic plans for fruit production, promotes original citrus production, and ensures top-notch fruit quality. Participants had the opportunity to explore the packing house, unveiling unique harvest and storage strategies that align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by minimizing the use of treatments. The visit to the packing house culminated with engaging conversation between farmers and world renown scientists about fruit cracking mitigation and aiding digital and data solutions.

INRAE-CIRAD Citrus germplasm collection in Corsica was a great experience for CrackSense partners, where they had a chance to see the one of the world’s largest germplasm collections, with nearly 1000 cultivars present. 

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The CrackSense consortium’s successful first year promises significant benefits for the agricultural community, particularly farmers and growers in the citrus, pomegranate, sweet cherry, and table grape sectors. Through shared insights and collaborative endeavors, CrackSense aims to foster sustainability, resilience, and prosperity for farming communities worldwide. Stay tuned for the upcoming CrackSense achievements and developments!