At the Chateau Kefraya vineyard in Lebanon, an IoT-based smart agriculture project is drawing to a close – but valuable data has been harvested.
Lebanese wine? It may be unfamiliar to many, but in fact, Lebanon has a winemaking tradition dating back to the Phoenicians.
Today, this tiny country, half the size of Wales, produces around 8 million bottles each year. Most of it comes from the Bekaa Valley and the best tends to come from one of four leading chateaux: Kefraya, Ksara, Massaya and Musar.
At the first of these, Chateau Kefraya, a smart agriculture project is drawing to a close, involving IoT networking company Kerlink and Libatel, a local ICT provider in the Middle East. This pilot project, which began this summer, has seen an intelligent network monitor growing conditions at the vineyard.
Sensors scattered around the 300 hectares of the vineyard – even on the grapevines themselves – are generating data about the terroir: the topography, soil conditions, climate and sunlight that all give grapes their distinctive character.
Parcels of land
By monitoring this data, the chateau will be able to allocate in advance specific parcels of land to different productions and, in particular, select the best grapes for its most high-end wines. (Its Comte de M 2012 wine, for example, was highly rated by renowned critic Robert Parker and is sold by online wine merchants for between €35 and €75 per bottle.)
The customized LoRaWAN network deployment, which includes the Kerlink Wirnet Station technology, involves Libatel and Ogero Telecom, Lebanon’s largest telco, and will be part of Libatel’s bid to support Ogero’s deployment of a nationwide IoT network in Lebanon.
Libatel, which is managing network operation and maintenance, data collection and software development, provided a dashboard tailored to the specific needs of Chateau Kefraya. The chateau has also used the ThingPark IoT platform from Actility.
Agriculture is Lebanon’s third-largest economic sector and the country has a wide variety of terrain and climatic conditions.
That makes it fertile ground for implementing smart-agriculture applications, which “provide our producers real-time information to better manage crop maintenance, water consumption and fertilizer and pesticide applications,” according to André Chkeibane, country manager for Libatel Lebanon.
“This improved efficiency supports sustainable agriculture, while maximizing yields for producers, and this project with Chateau Kefraya will demonstrate specifically how the IoT can benefit Lebanese vineyards.”