Since the 2019/2020 season, Blue North Sustainability has been the in-country implementation partner to eLEAF in delivering the FruitLook service to users and stakeholders in the Western Cape.
eLEAF is a Dutch SME that provides satellite-based services to clients globally for sustainable water management and applications to optimise crop production. eLEAF is the inventor and developer of the Pixel Intelligence Mapping (PiMapping®) technology, a proprietary suite of energy balance algorithms including SEBAL and ETLook, which generate satellite-based time series of evapotranspiration, crop water stress, water productivity, and biomass production.
eLEAF is and has been the lead implementer of FruitLook in the Western Cape since the service was first launched in 2010. The eLEAF FruitLook team has eleven years of experience in processing and delivering high quality data, supporting users and tuning the portal to user preferences.
Blue North’s key responsibility regarding FruitLook is to support the in-field uptake and adoption of the service across the Western Cape Province. This is achieved through weekly engagement with users, a support desk, bi-weekly training webinars, a user Stakeholder Board, surveys, and case study development. Blue North is well versed in engaging from farm-level to industry-association and government levels with core competencies in both in-field (face-to-face) and remote workshop set-up and facilitation.
The interaction with FruitLook users has focused more on online communication since 2020 due to Covid-19. Through online communication many users have been successfully reached and kept informed. This is done through webinars on Zoom; phone calls, emails and YouTube tutorials. The online method has allowed Blue North to reach a large number of users and has been very positively received.
During the 2020-2021 FruitLook season, 592 unique users logged into the platform. There have been a total of 9254 new block orders received in the 2020-2021 season, covering 227210 hectares.
As a partnership, eLEAF and Blue North have the technology and the team with the required technological capabilities, knowledge, skills, networks and experience to successfully deliver FruitLook, and in so doing, provide farmers and stakeholders across the entire agriculture sector of the province with relevant and timeous information that will lead to improved crop production and improved water use efficiency across all agricultural areas in the Western Cape.