Smart farming based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enables crop farmers to collect real-time data related to irrigation and plant protection processes, aiming to increase production volume, improve product quality, and predict diseases, while optimizing resources and farming processes. IoT devices can collect vast amounts of environmental, soil, and crop performance data, thus building time series data that can be analyzed to forecast and compute recommendations and deliver critical information to farmers in real time. In this sense, the added-value from the farmers’ perspective is that such smart farming techniques have the potential to deliver a more sustainable agricultural production, based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach in the complex and versatile agricultural environment. The aim of this study is to investigate possible advantages of applying the Smart Farming as a Service (SFaaS) paradigm, aiming to support small-scale farmers, by taking over the technological investment burden and offering next generation farming advice through the combined utilization of heterogeneous information sources. The overall results of the pilot application demonstrate a potential reduction of up to 22% on total irrigation needs and important optimization opportunities on pesticides use efficiency. The current work offers opportunities for innovation targeting and climate change adaptation options (new agricultural technologies), and could help farmers to reduce their ecological footprint.
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