SMART WATERING: Digitization of agriculture for higher yields


An effective digital solution for irrigation and feeding control

Although digital solutions in agricultural production are still uncommon in Serbia, the past few years have witnessed a growing digital literacy among agricultural producers and the development of domestic software applications that have the potential to revolutionize fruit production and other agricultural crops.

Irrigation and top-up control application

Lazar Jovanović, co-founder of SMART WATERING SOLUTION company, planted hazelnuts on a property hundreds of kilometers away from Novi Sad, where he resides. To simplify his work, he decided to develop an application that would save him time. However, the actual development of the application began when he connected with experienced agricultural producers who recognized the potential of the digital solution and identified the requirements to enhance yields and achieve savings.

With the EU funds through the Mini Grants Program of the Innovation Fund for Innovation Activities, the digital solution of Lazar's company for irrigation and feeding control quickly found its way to users and proved its effectiveness.

One of the initial users, Aleksandar Milić from Mladenovac, has been successfully producing blueberries for 15 years. "I immediately understood the benefits, and after just one year of using the irrigation and feeding application, my income increased by as much as 30%", says Milić. As a pioneer in potted blueberry production, he believes the application's contribution is invaluable. Through sensors placed in the greenhouse, the application monitors plant and root conditions, humidity, electrical conductivity, substrate acidity, and fertilizer dosage. The data is updated every 15 seconds, enabling him to have complete control over production even when he is not physically present in the greenhouse.

Innovator Lazar Jovanović says that the Fund's support happened at a crucial moment – “Thanks to the Fund, we hired scientists from the Biosense Institute and experts from Delta Agrar who are helping to develop specialized algorithms that will give users irrigation recommendations. We hope that the cooperation with the Fund will continue because we have new ideas for the development of the application”.

The global trend of digitizing agriculture offers numerous advantages

The digitization of agriculture in Serbia is still in its early stages, but in recent years, there has been an increasing number of initiatives and projects promoting the use of digital technologies in agricultural production.

The Innovation Fund has witnessed a rise in applicants seeking financial and professional support to develop digital solutions that cater to the needs of modern agricultural producers and directly contribute to improving yields, resource efficiency and profitability.

Farmers worldwide are increasingly recognizing the significance of digital tools and technologies in optimizing production. By utilizing sensors, wireless networks, smart irrigation systems, and software applications, farmers can monitor and manage various aspects of production, including soil moisture, water quality, climate conditions, and resource utilization. This provides them with better insights into crop and animal conditions, enables precise fertilizer and pesticide dosing, reduces losses, and optimizes water usage.

The digitization of agriculture holds the potential to transform the industry and contribute to a more sustainable and efficient global food production system.




Direct Grant - Increased innovation capacity and technological readiness of SMEs is signed between the Innovation Fund and Ministry of Finance - the Department for Contracting and Financing of EU Funded Programs (CFCU) provides funds for the continuation of Mini Grants Program, Matching Grants Program and Collaborative Grant Scheme Program.

The total budget of the Project is EUR 20 million, of which EUR 15 million from the European Union Pre-Accession Assistance for 2018 (IPA 2018) and EUR 5 million from the budget of the Republic of Serbia, the line of the Ministry of Science,Technological Development and Innovation.

The amount allocated for the financing of approved projects under the  Mini Grants Program, Matching Grants Program and Collaborative Grant Scheme Program financed under this Direct Grant Agreement is EUR 18 million. More about the project can be found on