An innovative project idea, awarded within the Climate Smart Urban Development Challenge (CSUD) initiative, began its life in the Srem County, north Serbia.

Until recently, a farmer from Belegish village, Nikola Loncar, used a diesel generator for watering 65,000 seedlings on a 10,000-hectare plot, which means he came two to three times a day to water his crops, which could last up to 10 hours a day. At the annual level, this work was valued at a thousand euros per hectare.

Today, with the help of the Center for Robotics of the Institute “Mihajlo Pupin” from Belgrade, which tests the smart use of natural resources on his agricultural estate, Nikola Loncar remotely controls irrigation through the Android application on his mobile phone.

It is a unique and innovative system of optimal land, water and energy management, which completely replaces the use of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (solar energy and wind power) and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The core elements of this device are a modern robotized solar generator and a soil moisture sensor, integrated into a climate-smart system for remote management of land and other natural resources. This approach allows the farmer to produce healthier food, because the additives for soil are used only as much as the land needs, or – as the science says. The “Mihajlo Pupin” Institute plans to organize workshops for farmers and entrepreneurs who wish to introduce this innovative system into their agricultural holdings.

The project idea itself was selected as one of the 111 received applications at the CSUD’s Public Call for innovative and climate-smart solutions”, while the Institute “Mihajlo Pupin” is one of the 25 winners of the Call, proclaimed the “Climate Smart Innovation Pioneer”. UNDP implements the CSUD in partnership with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF).