Utilization of Advanced Technology in Greenhouses in Palestine from the Perspective of Agronomists
Agriculture in Palestine suffers from several problems related to the availability of water and efficient use of the available farmlands. In addition, due to the current political and economic situation in Palestine, the agricultural sector is unable to supply the needed products for the local market. Therefore, farmers need to rely on modern technology such as the implementation of the internet of things (IoT) in greenhouses in order to increase their efficiency and facilitate their control, which will help to improve the overall production of the farming sector and overcome the current problems.
In this paper, we studied the Palestinian agricultural sector, Ramallah and Nablus as a sample, to determine the extent to which the farmers who use greenhouse farming are utilizing modern technology. The researchers collected data from agronomists who work in areas affiliated to Nablus and Ramallah governorates. The main tool used to collect data is a questionnaire. It consisted of 29 questions divided into three main domains. In addition, when possible, the researchers carried out interviews with experts in the field of protected agriculture. The sample consisted of 35 agronomists and it was selected based on the availability in the study area, due to the limited number of experts in the field of using advanced technology in greenhouses.
Our results show that the use of technology in the Palestinian agricultural sector has a positive impact. It leads to an improvement in the quality and the quantities of the products. However, advanced technology is used on a very limited scope, mainly because of its cost. In addition, local farmers are not trained to use and manage modern tools and prefer to use traditional methods. The results further show that the limited governmental funding of farmers and the absence of training workshops were major factors for the limited application of the advanced technology in greenhouses.
The findings of this study encourage designing a technological system based on IoT to control the environment inside the greenhouse, in order to provide more instant data to the farmers, and make it easier to control functions in the greenhouse such as irrigation, heat and humidity. Such a technological system can significantly improve the efficiency of greenhouses.
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