Workshop on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in Greenhouses: Cultivating a Sustainable Future!

Presentation and discussion of practical cases and implementations

1.5 hours

October 24th, 2023

Dr. Francisco Domingo Molina-Aiz, University of Almería, Spain

We welcome you to the Workshop on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in Greenhouses, where we will explore the possibilities of application of CFD simulations in greenhouses. The objective of this workshop is to involve a diverse audience of researchers, engineers, farmers and all attendant interested in using CFD simulations to model the interaction between crops and the microclimate inside greenhouses, visualizing the distribution of the different parameters in space and time.

The constant evolution of the world climate because of global warming has made it necessary to search for new solutions to design greenhouses and climate control systems that allow improving environmental conditions inside greenhouses. On the other hand, the increase in the prices of the inputs, the need to reduce the use of pesticides, the scarcity of water and the limitation of the use of energy make it necessary to optimize its use in greenhouses. The CFD has been shown to be a very useful tool to analyse the exchanges of matter and energy inside greenhouses and their effect on crops.

During this workshop we will analyse the immense capabilities of the CFD for the evaluation of climate control systems in greenhouses. We will also address its limitations and the need for robust model validations in order to guaranty the accuracy of its predictions.

  1. We will begin by providing an overview of CFD, and exploring how they can be applied to greenhouses. Understanding the physical and computational bases of CFD is essential to know its potential and its limitations when simulating the microclimate inside greenhouses.
  2. The usefulness of CFD models is limited by the type of validation that is performed on their simulations. At this point, the different methodologies and the main parameters that need to be measured, in order to correctly validate CFD models, will be discussed.
  3. For a correct modelling of the microclimate inside greenhouses, it is essential to include the aerodynamic effects,light interception and the mass and energy exchanges produced by the crop Different alternatives will be discussed to simulate through CFD the processes of transpiration and photosynthesis of plants.
  4. One of the main benefits of CFD is its ability to compare different prototype designs without having to physically manufacture them, thereby saving time and money. In the case of greenhouses, CFD simulations have been widely used in the design of ventilation,heating, cooling systems, insect-proof screens or thermal screens.
  5. Although CFD is a powerful tool for the study of greenhouse crops, its use presents important challenges for the future. In the same way, its practical application supposes a series of limitations that must be taken into account to avoid accurate predictions.

Through this workshop it is intended to generate an interactive discussion between CFD users and all attendees. Feel free to ask questions, share your experiences, and engage in discussions to encourage a collaborative learning environment.

The main objective is to provide an overview of the knowledge necessary to use CFDs accurately, achieving optimization of the design and management of climate control systems and crops in greenhouses.

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey, and let's work together to cultivate a sustainable future through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in Greenhouses!

Please do not hesitate to participate in this workshop with enthusiasm, curiosity and a desire to explore the many capabilities of CFD in simulating microclimate and plant activity inside greenhouses.

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Workshop on Machine Learning and IoT for Greenhouses: Cultivating a Sustainable Future!

Presentation and discussion of practical cases and implementations

1.5 hours Date: October 24th, 2023

Dr. Alvaro Fuentes, Jeonbuk National University, South Korea

We welcome you to the Workshop on Machine Learning and IoT for Greenhouses, where we will delve into the powerful fusion of agriculture and artificial intelligence. This workshop aims to engage a diverse audience of practitioners, researchers, farmers, and all enthusiasts interested in harnessing cutting-edge AI-based technology to monitor and optimize plant growth within controlled greenhouse environments.

As the world faces pressing challenges such as climate change, resource limitations, and a growing global population, it is crucial to explore innovative and sustainable practices in agriculture. Greenhouse farming has emerged as a beacon of hope in meeting these challenges, offering controlled environments that allow us to grow crops more efficiently, with minimal water usage and reduced reliance on pesticides. However, to truly unlock the full potential of greenhouse farming, we must harness the power of artificial intelligence.

During this workshop, we will embark on a journey to discover the immense possibilities that machine learning offers while addressing the challenges of transforming greenhouse practices. From automating monitoring and data collection processes to enabling predictive analytics for optimized crop yields, the applications of AI in agriculture are limitless.

  1. We will begin by providing an overview of machine learning techniques, and exploring how they can be applied to greenhouse settings. Understanding the fundamentals is essential to appreciate the immense potential, challenges, and implications of AI in this field.
  2. Explore the advancements in sensor technologies, IoT devices, and data acquisition systems that empower us to collect real-time information on various greenhouse parameters. Learn how to utilize this data effectively to make informed decisions.
  3. Discover how machine learning models can predict crop yields, plant health, and disease outbreaks based on historical data and environmental factors. Implementing such models can help us optimize resource allocation and improve overall greenhouse productivity.
  4. Delve into the realm of automated control systems for greenhouses. Explore how AI can be leveraged to regulate environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and light to create the ideal growth conditions for different crops.
  5. While AI offers immense promise, it also presents challenges and ethical considerations. We will address issues such as data privacy, algorithm biases, and the importance of human supervision in AI-driven greenhouse farming.

Throughout the workshop, we encourage active participation from all attendees. Feel free to ask questions, share your experiences, and engage in discussions to foster a collaborative learning environment.

Our ultimate goal is to provide an overview of the knowledge and insights needed to embrace AI-based technologies confidently, making a positive impact on the future of agriculture and our planet.

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey, and let's work together to cultivate a sustainable future through Machine Learning and IoT in Greenhouses!

Please come with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a desire to explore the endless possibilities of AI in agriculture.

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Networking Session on Machine Learning and Data Science

  • – Attendees working on the same topics and interested in building longlasting networks that support their development and information possibilities.

    – Participants looking for complementary partners to work together in inter- and transdisciplinary projects.

  • 1.5 hours
  • Luis Miranda1

1CIGR - Working Group 12; Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development

The International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR) is a non-profit technical organisation with members working on engineering solutions around the world. The present workshop is organised by the Working Group 12 Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, and aims at providing an interactive space for communication between professionals who are using these methods and techniques across our diverse study areas.

As Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers, we are aware of the complexity of data science and the techniques related to it. The broader fields of Statistical Learning and Machine Learning comprise a number of techniques and applications that currently grow at a very fast pace. We believe that our application fields can particularly benefit from extended networks of cooperation and communication to stay up-to-date and enable innovative and concrete solutions towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Within the framework of GreenSys 2023, we provide an organised and moderated networking workshop with a focus on the social interactions and the development of new working groups.

The present workshop provides a structured platform for participants to meet and interact with multiple individuals in a short time. The focus is set on the facilitation of building professional networks of practitioners working on similar as well as complementary subjects.

The workshop underlines interaction and collaboration, combining fast networking with deeper, focused discussions in thematic groups and is organized in two phases as follows.

  • First phase:
    The participants will be given the opportunity to briefly share their expertise and interests on a bilateral setting. The goal is to gain knowledge onthe common and complementary fields and interests and identify potential partners for deeper discussions.
  • Second phase:
    Round Tables Thematic round tables will be freely available for joint discussions in groups. Participants are encouraged to use this setting to share their experiences, challenges, insights, and interests.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of topics of interest in the session:

  • Phenotyping, 3D Models
  • Energy harvesting, climate control, Irrigation
  • Supply chains, logistics
  • python, jupyter, R/RStudio, keras, CLI
  • Image analysis, Multispectral sensors, Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • openCV, Computer Vision
  • Time Series Analysis and Forecasting
  • Robotics, UAV
  • Random Forests, Bayesian methods, Non-linear regression
  • t-SNE, MonteCarlo, Evolutionary algorithms
  • Deep learning, transformers
  • Edge computing, Parallel computing, Scientific computing, GPUs
  • IoT, Smart Sensors
  • Decision Support Systems, Bots

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FAO Workshop within the Framework of the of the GreenSys 2023: International Symposium on New Technologies for Sustainable Greenhouse Systems

Cancún, México, October 24th, 2023

  • Modality: Presentations and discussion of field experiences from FAO staff and international experts representing different regions
  • Duration: 1.5 hours

“Sustainable Vegetable Production in Small-scale Farmer Greenhouses in Developing Countries”

Moderator: Nazim Gruda and Melvin Medina

Workshop description

This workshop aims to present different field cases and engage the audience in active discussion on sustainable approaches for technological adaptation to increase the efficiency and resilience of horticultural systems for small-scale farmers. For example, how can limiting factors such as decreasing crop yields and incomes due to extreme climate events, water scarcity, land degradation, pests and diseases, limited access to technical assistance, appropriate inputs, financial resources, and lack of infrastructure and markets be overcome more affordably, closer to the economic reach of smallholders?

The workshop is of interest to a diverse audience of practitioners such as farmers and extension agents, researchers and horticulturalists, NGOs and opinion leaders, funding agencies and policymakers, to develop and implement projects, programmes, and initiatives and to create an enabling environment for the adoption of context-specific and cost-effective technologies adapted to small-scale farmers. Field experiences and innovative approaches will be openly discussed to understand how adaptation has been achieved and what challenges were overcome to ensure sustainability: income generation, environmental protection, and social equity.

Panellists representing different geographic regions, climatic conditions, and cropping systems will share experiences and knowledge on producing vegetable crops in protected cultivation. The primary objective is to improve the livelihoods of communities through sustainable agricultural practices. Moreover, the panellists will discuss scaling approaches to achieve the SDGs for better production, nutrition, livelihoods, and a healthier environment, all while minimising investments and running costs. An open discussion with the participants will follow the presentations to explore these topics further and exchange ideas.

The workshop will provide an opportunity to highlight the necessity of making research more practical, effective, inclusive, and participatory, also targeting small-scale farmers developing technologies and practices that are efficient and affordable to overcome limiting factors and achieve food security.


Limiting factors have compromised farmers’ livelihoods. However, sustainable horticultural systems are essential for cultivating short-cycle vegetables. These systems allow for high and stable incomes from relatively small land units, promote decent jobs, improve nutrition, and create appropriate business opportunities. Additionally, sustainable horticultural systems require monitoring climate data systems, seeds, seedling systems, pest and disease diagnostic and management systems, accurate water and nutrient delivery systems, and post-harvest services, including sorting, washing, storing, packaging, processing and market linkages.

There is a wide range of technologies and costs, from low-cost greenhouses and net houses to fully automated high-tech systems. These can extend harvesting seasons and grow crops year-round with increased productivity and more efficient use of soil, water, nutrients, and light while ensuring food produced is nutritious and safe through minimised use of pesticides. Additionally, protected cultivation systems offer the opportunity to include adapted technologies and practices such as covering materials, soilless culture as in the case of hydroponics or substrate based, the use of sensors for collecting data and management of climate, grafting techniques, the efficient use of biological control agents, pollinators, recycling of nutrient solutions, and drip irrigation among others.

FAO and partners have successfully adapted technical solutions to increase production efficiency by reducing investment costs. These solutions include low-cost structures for protected cultivation systems, such as locally-made greenhouses and net houses. They also involve installing low-cost sensors based on open-source platforms to obtain and use on-farm generated real-time data on-farm. This data is then used to support climate management, pest management, and irrigation decisions. Moreover, new adapted varieties, seedling production systems, soil management, soilless systems, bumblebees, efficient fertigation systems, and integrated pest and disease management have been adapted. Projects targeting small-scale farming systems are being implemented worldwide, and knowledge will be shared on addressing limiting factors such as seasonality and extreme climate events.

The panel will include:

  1. The use of affordable digital sensors and applications to collect temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and solar radiation for improved crop management in greenhouses
  2. Growing media used in greenhouses and their impact on climate change
  3. Smart vegetable production systems using greenhouses and adapted technologies in Viet Nam
  4. Improving people’s livelihoods through innovation and adaptation of greenhouse vegetable production in Uzbekistan
  5. Adapting and promoting sustainable crop production intensification through efficient, protected cultivation systems in the Caribbean region

During the symposium and after the workshop:

The potential number of participants to attend the workshop is 100 (depending on the number of parallel workshops), including farmers, trainers, researchers, and the private sector.

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