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Climate 2019, 7(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7030044

Sensor Applications in Agrifood Systems: Current Trends and Opportunities for Water Stewardship

1
Centre for International Manufacturing, Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), Department of Engineering, School of Technology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0FS, UK
2
Department of Computer Science and Engineering (DISI), School of Engineering, Alma Mater Studiorum—University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy
3
Laboratory of Statistics and Quantitative Analysis Methods (LASCM), Division of Industrial Management, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2019 / Revised: 12 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract

Growing global food demand and security concerns dictate the need for state-of-the-art food production technologies to increase farming efficiency. Concurrently, freshwater overexploitation in agriculture, especially in arid and water-scarce areas, emphasises the vital role of appropriate water-saving irrigations techniques to ensure natural resources sustainability in food supply networks. In line with the development of automated systems, the use of sensors for water monitoring, indicatively in the cases of smart farming or precision agriculture, could further promote the preservation of freshwater resources. To this end, this research first provides a review of sensor applications for improving sustainability in agrifood systems. We then focus on digital technologies applied for monitoring and assessing freshwater utilisation in the food commodities sector based on academic literature and real-world business evidence. A contextual map is developed for capturing the main technical, environmental and economic factors affecting the selection of sensors for water monitoring and stewardship during agricultural production. This first-effort framework, in terms of sensor-based freshwater monitoring, aims at supporting the agrifood system’s decision makers to identify the optimal sensor applications for improving sustainability and water efficiency in agricultural operations. View Full-Text
Keywords: sensor application; agrifood system; food supply network; freshwater monitoring; water stewardship sensor application; agrifood system; food supply network; freshwater monitoring; water stewardship
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Tsolakis, N.; Aivazidou, E.; Srai, J.S. Sensor Applications in Agrifood Systems: Current Trends and Opportunities for Water Stewardship. Climate 2019, 7, 44.

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