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A Lithuanian SME manufactures and further develops smart drainage systems. Currently, the company is providing planning services and selling the smart drainage system itself. The system reduces nutrients drainage, increased draught resistance and agricultural yields. The SME is looking for commercial or technical cooperation with agriculture equipment manufacturers.
The company was founded with the goal to reduce the nutrient pollution of water bodies coming from agriculture sector. Consequently, the company developed its solution that it implemented in Baltic states and is looking into expansion.
The company is offering a complete smart-drainage system, including the planning services which is used mainly in agriculture sector to upgrade existing drainage system or be part of new drainage system to allow control of ground water level.
The system allows to drain the oversupply of the water in the soil that is negatively affecting the crops, though accumulate the water at the below crop roots level which in usual drainage system would be drained. The maximum ground water level can be easily changed and the drainage itself is automatic. For heavy equipment to move freely in the fields, the ground water level may be reduced and restored after the work is completed.
The system has two main benefits - reduced impact of draughts as well as reduced drainage of nutrients.
The SME is looking for commercial or technical cooperation with agriculture equipment manufacturers. They are also looking forward to updating the system to more specific needs according to geographical region if needed. The main markets that could benefit by smart-drainage system are: Scandinavian countries, Denmark, Belgium, North of Germany, North of Poland and other countries with high variable humidity quantities and smooth terrain.
The idea of smart-drainage system is new in at least European market, though the drainage itself is a technology used for quite a while. The system is new in the way it upgrades the currently installed drainage systems allowing to sustain the water level automatically, not requiring human input.
The farmer's greatest direct gain is increased crop resistance to draught and up to 40% greater yield (according to actual monitoring of the field in comparison to nearby field with regular drainage). It is influenced both by optimum soil humidity sustained for longer period and greater retainment of nutrients in the soil.
The environment gain is mostly influenced by the reduced drainage of water which increases the environment resistance to hydrological droughts as well as reduces nutrients wash-offs to water bodies by up to 90%, significantly decreasing the water-body pollution with nutrients and reducing the damage to water-bodies ecological systems.
Climate change is expected to disrupt the regular quantities of precipitation thus continuous drainage systems may begin to cause more damage to the farmers than provide benefits. The smart drainage system would allow to better adapt to the climate change and allow to keep ground water levels more stable.
The retaining of the water also increases the quantity of CO2 retainment in the ground as soil over drying is avoided.
Currently, the company has already sold the smart drainage system to over 40 farms in Lithuania which covers area over 1000 hectares. The company is closely monitoring the installed equipment, its performance, and the affect it has on crops to make further improvements as well as to measure the benefits of the system in different situations.
The system can be installed in hilly terrain, though there is room for improvement according to different terrains that the company is looking forward to.
In May of 2020, the company has signed a contract for distribution of the system with one of the largest farmers suppliers in Baltic states.
The company has filed patent applications for the intelligent drainage system in Lithuania, as well as WIPO and EPO applications, but currently has no active patents.
Lithuanian company seeks to reach commercial agreement with technical assistance with forestry and agriculture equipment manufacturers which would be able to approach the farmers to whom such system is beneficial and propose it along with explaining the benefits of smart drainage system.
The planning of the system installation can be performed by the company and the installation can be carried out by the farmer himself/herself as it requires excavation only on the exit points of the drainage system thus the distributor does not need to have any capacities to install the equipment.
The company has long-term plans:
1. To further improve the effectiveness of smart-drainage system at storing and managing water
2. To increase system effectiveness in hilly terrain
3. Reduce system and installation costs