Fernando Bañon

SanLucar has signed up to the 'Water Scarcity Programme', a European initiative that aims to address one of the biggest hurdles for southern Europe: Water shortage.

Within the framework of the programme, promoted by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), SanLucar is challenging eight start-ups to find solutions that contribute to the efficient use of water for crops in the region of Murcia, one of the Mediterranean areas most affected by the increasing impact of droughts.

'Faced with the effects of climate change, we must be as preventive as possible, equip ourselves with technology and develop a resilient attitude,' said Fernando Bañón, SanLucar production manager.

He said that the water crisis is one of the greatest present and future challenges, but that modern irrigation techniques can help to protect this valuable resource.

“Our great allies in the optimisation of water resources are the intelligent management of Big Data, as well as the application of the most advanced technology for crop control,” he explained.

“In the era of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), we must promote investment in technology and R&D, to anticipate the effects caused by changes in climate behaviour; or develop new varieties that are more resistant to drought conditions.'

Efficient water management at SanLucar

The production manager went through the different methodologies applied inSanLucar to conserve water.

'From probes that allow us to measure soil humidity in South Africa, achieving savings of up to 50 per cent in water consumption; the collection of rainwater for later use in our crops in Tunisia; or the use of cover crops, in SanLucar we are very committed to the rational use of water,' Bañón said.

That`s why the efficient management of water resources is one of the main environmental initiatives promoted by DREAMS, SanLucar's corporate responsibility programme.

'For us, every drop counts. And that is why we are willing to lead any innovation that contributes not only to alleviating water scarcity, but also to protecting the environment. Not to forget, nature is our greatest partner. Without it, there would be no production or crops', Bañón concluded.