A new application developed by the rural development and foods ministry to give farmers early warning of oncoming frost is to be unveiled next week. Its aim is to restrict crop losses due to frost each year, as well as the amounts paid in compensation, which have reached an estimated 1.25 billion euros in the last 23 years.
It was developed with the assistance of the National Meteorological Service and the Hellenic Farm Insurance Organisation (ELGA) to provide farmers with the information they need to take protective action against freezing conditions, both before and after they occur.
Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Deputy Rural Development and Foods Minister Giorgos Georgantas said the application will “free farmers’ hands” and was simple to use.
Initially it will be available online via the digital governance ministry (frost.getmap.gr), while a mobile app will be available by the end of the month.
These will provide hour-by-hour frost forecasts over a three-day period, so that interested parties can predict with accuracy when the phenomena will start and end, while farmers can also opt to receive alerts on their phones or e-mails for particular areas of their choice. As it was developed using a Geographic Information System (GIS) platform, it allows high spatial analysis and the provision of information even at the level of individual fields, using weather data from a European weather forecasting centre that is among the best in the world.
The total cost of the application is particularly low, not exceeding 30,000 euros, while it is supported by data that is provided free of charge.