Due to the mountainous topography of the Basque Country, livestock breeders often lose a lot of time by going to seek their herd in the mountains every day, which is especially stressful for part time farmers. Thus, the livestock breeders expressed a need for change in the livestock management. This need was detected by The Sectorial Network team of Hazi Foundation, the public foundation of the Basque Government for rural and coastal development. In response, HAZI developed, in close collaboration with some farmers, GEOPOS, a livestock geo-localisation device.
Elaboration of a new GEOPOS device
The testing of the device has been done in real conditions in the mountains thanks to a close cooperation between the technicians and the breeders. After several trials with different device types trying to adapt it to the climatic and geographical conditions, it was possible to obtain a robust, small and light necklace with great features, which includes:
- Photovoltaic panels, together with high-performance batteries, giving unlimited autonomy, allowing the farmer to forget about charging the device.
- Alarm system to the farmer via SMS / mail in case of the livestock enters/goes out of the plot, inactivity, low battery…
- Follow-up of the herd through a technological platform (available both for computers and mobile phones), so the farmer can check in every moment where is the herd.
Positive impacts for farmers
Nowadays, the devices are being used by around 20 small and medium farmers, with extensive livestock production. It has allowed improving the working conditions for the farmers through:
- Time saving for the farmers as they are not anymore obliged to go every day to their lands.
- Cost reduction, especially by saving fuel in unnecessary car journeys.
- Contributes to animal behaviour research as the devices shows the pattern of movements that can be analysed in different growth phases, seasons, weather conditions…
This case has been one of the case studies presented by HAZI in the Agrispin project, a thematic network analyzing innovation support services in agriculture, financed by Horizon 2020.22 May 2017