The new application frost.minagric.gr aspires to be a tool for agricultural production.
A new application presentation took place at the LAED building in Athens on Tuesday afternoon (click here) of the Ministry of Agriculture, which warns of frost and is the result of the collaboration of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Agriculture. A useful one, according to the officials of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, a tool that will provide information to farmers, so that they can face the next frosts in time.
How the user enters the map
One of the objectives of the application, which will provide forecasts at the municipal level, as highlighted at the event, will be to prevent frost damage to winter and spring crops, both in production and in the country’s capital plant. According to ELGA data, between 2000-2009 frosts were responsible for 36% of all natural disasters in our country. In the last 23 years alone, the cost of compensation paid for damage to the production or capital of the plant is estimated at around 1.25 billion euros. As mentioned in the event, the app works with maps, but not with google, it provides hourly data to the users (farmers). Each farmer can at this moment through his computer (soon also through a special application on his mobile phone), enter the specific website.
There you can choose the day you are interested in and the point within the Greek territory, so you can see the forecast for any upcoming frosts. The map shows four levels of risk by county. Specifically, in green are the areas where frost is not expected, in yellow the areas where there is a possibility of frost, in orange moderate frosts are expected, while finally in red the areas where strong frosts are expected.
Its mode of operation
The application will be available in the “cloud” of the Ministry of Digital Governance (frost.minagric.gr), while at the end of next month the application will be ready to work on mobile phones. Through this, the producer will be provided with the necessary early and valid warning to take the necessary protection measures before and after the frost.
The information refers to the frost forecast for the next three days with a time interval of one hour so that all those interested can accurately know the start and end time of the phenomenon.
Producers will be able to be updated through notifications on their mobile phones or by email for the region they have chosen. Furthermore, the fact that the application has been developed in a Geographic Information Systems environment allows for great spatial analysis and the ability to provide information even at the parcel level. The project uses weather forecasts from the European Meteorological Center, which is the best in the world, so the weather forecast data is obtained through EMY. The total cost of the application for the Greek public is particularly low, since it does not exceed 30,000 euros, while the data on which its operation is based is provided free of charge.
Speaking at the presentation of the “Frost Alert Application”, the Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, Giorgos Georgantas, highlighted, among other things, that it is an application that will significantly help producers to take measures to Adequate protection, both before and after frost, and at the same time will help save resources.
“The FSA, recognizing both the extraordinary conditions created by climate change and the adverse consequences it has on production, managed in the 2020-2022 triennium, with a systematic effort and method, the payment of compensation in the same year and the first months of the following year. The compensation, however, is a firefighting measure, and not a preventive one, and for this reason, the Ministry, in direct cooperation with ELGA and EMY, proceeded to create the application for frost warnings”, said the minister characteristically.
Especially to deal with frost, the Ministry of Anti-frost stressed that early warning of producers, through the use of modern technologies, can lead to the adoption of adequate active protection measures with the aim of reducing or even avoiding the risk of damage. “These damages are detrimental both for the Greek budget, which bears the cost of the compensation, and for our producers, who lose part of their production”, said the minister.
To close, he emphasized that the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food is on the side of the producers. “We listen to your problems and provide solutions. Our farmers will accept this information, this free app.”
In his greeting, the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Thodoros Skylakakis said, among other things, that: “Efficiency is also the main feature of this tool. This is a great offer from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to farmers. I wish we had a thousand projects like this because Greece would be a different way of living.” Call on farmers to adopt this app.
For his part, the Vice President (President And. Lykourentzos was absent due to illness) of ELGA, Mr. Giorgos Feretzanis noted: “I think the ministry makes the most of its partners. Synergies between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and ELGA are essential. ELGA is intertwined with the payment of compensation, but it also has another responsibility. Promote proactive protection to prevent damage and avoid compensation. We congratulate the ministry and Mr. Anandranistakis for this initiative.”
For his part, the Commander of the EMY Corvette Captain (I), Mr. Dimitris Sideridis in his greeting mentioned the importance of the application of frost warnings that was carried out with the contribution of the EMY. He highlighted the close collaboration of the EMY with the Ministry of Defense and the exchange of know-how on weather radars. He also highlighted the importance of signing the MOU for the “Regulation of the emissions of the special account of EMY, for the use of its income from the European Organization for Aviation Safety (EUROCONTROL)”.
This was followed by the interventions of the Professor of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics of the University of Patras, Mr. Athanasios Argyriou on the topic “Frost and its consequences on the national economy” and of Mrs. Flora Gofa, EMY Meteorologist on the topic : “Contribution of weather forecasts-warnings to Agriculture”.
What conditions favor frost growth?
Mr. Argyriou gave the definition of frost in agriculture and referred to the effects it has on the National Economy. He explained what frosts are and how they are produced, how they have an indicative effect on certain crops and cited data on the amount of compensation that has been given in the last twenty years, as well as their geographical characteristics. As he put it, frost “occurs when the air temperature on the ground drops below the freezing temperature of water (0°C). It can also be caused when the ground cools faster than the air, even if the air temperature (eg at 2m) is above freezing. It is also favored by the low temperatures, the apnea, the low relative humidity of the atmosphere and the absence of cloudiness”.
Ms. Gofa spoke about the contribution of meteorology to agriculture and specifically about the predictions of the EMY meteorological models in relation to parameters such as temperature and frost, while mentioning the possibilities and perspectives of their use.
The presentation of the frost warnings application was in charge of the Service Secretary of the Ministry of AAT, Dr. Manolis Anandranistakis. He explained in every detail how simple it is to use this specific application, which will be one of the most useful and immediately accessible tools for every farmer. Subsequently, Mr. Apostolos Polymeros, General Director of HYPAAT, meteorologists from EMY, etc. lectured on the “Frost forecast – protective measures before and after”. Anna Mamara and Eleni Hatzi and ETHEA Vice President Mr. Christos Giannakakis who focused on the effects of a frost in terms of exports, foreign exchange and by extension our national economy.
In attendance were the FSA, Simos Kedikoglou and Giorgos Stylios, the General Secretary of the FSA Christiana Kalogirou and Costas Baginetas, the deputies: Fthiotidas, E. Makri, Pellis D. Stamenitis, Thesprotias G. Yogiakas, Magnisias A. Lioupis, Serron A Hatzivasileiou, Kastoria Z. Tzigalayas, Pella, L. Vasiliadis. Likewise, the president of OPEKEPE, E. Simandrakos, president of the IGE. D. Kyriakopoulos, the Managing Director of ELGO-DIMITRA, P. Hatjinikolau and the vice-president of the Organization, Stavroula Petri, the rector of the Agricultural University, S. Kintzios and the vice-rector, Mr. E. Flemetakis. The event was presented and coordinated by the Journalist Gogo Katseli.