DIMAP: A digital ecosystem for integrated disease management in pear orchards


Pears are one of the most consumed fruits globally, with the Rocha pear being among the most exported agricultural products from Portugal. However, >50% of production can be lost every year due to three key pathogens: Stemphylium vesicarium, Rosellinia necatrix (both fungi) and Erwinia amylovora (bacteria). As control of these pathogens often involves preventive fungicide applications, tools that can allow farmers to predict disease risk earlier and more accurately can allow farmers to better prevent crop losses, while at the same time reduce treatment applications, with both economic and environmental benefits.

The project “DIMAP: A digital ecosystem for integrated disease management in pear orchards” was born in 2021 with the aim of building a consortium and network to develop such solutions.


As with most agricultural products, pests and diseases lead to large economic costs for pear producers, through lost production and disease management costs (Table 1). O Stemphylium vesicarium, a Rosellinia necatrix e a Erwinia amylovora são os agentes etiológicos da estenfiliose, da podridão radicular e do fogo bacteriano (respetivamente). These diseases can lead to both loss of fruit production and tree morbidity or mortality. While some of the factors promoting these diseases can be common, there is also substantial variation between pathogens in the symptoms caused and in the factors that promote disease (e.g. metereological factors, vector availability).

Table 1

Thus, a system for early detection (before visible symptoms) of each disease needs to be able to integrate data from multiple sources. The DIMAP project was created with the development of such a system in mind and was funded through the SmartAgriHubs project, funded by Horizon 2020 program, through the contest PREPARE, which supported projects in the early stages of development to create a consortium and prepare a project plan.

Besides InnovPlantProtect, DIMAP involved the following partners:

Producers and Producer Associations:

  • APAS: Association of the Agricultural Producers from Sobrena
  • ANP: National Association of “Rocha” Pear Producers
  • FNOP: National Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Producers Organizations
  • O Melro

Competence centers and R&D private institutions:

  • COTHN: The Portuguese Operative and Technological Center for Horticulture
  • SFCoLab: Smart Farm CoLAB
  • Rocha” Center: Post-harvest and Technology Center

Academic Institutions:

  • ISA: Higher Institute for Agronomy
  • ESAE: Elvas’ Agrarian School

Small & Medium Enterprises


The main aims of this project are:

  1. 1. identify synergies between the partners;
  2. 2. identify the most promising technological approaches for early disease detection;
  3. 3. define the most suitable machine learning/artificial intelligence algorithms to integrate the different data sources and design the structure of these algorithms;
  4. 4. identify orchards to be sampled to train, test, and validate disease prediction models.


In order to achieve the project aims, DIMAP is structured in the following phases:

  1. Reviewing the state of the art and generating technology transfer reports. The latter will review information about:
    1.1. Each of the pathogens, follows a structure similar to the EFSA pest survey cards (reports available for: fire blight, brown spot of pear and white root rot);
    1.2. Evaluate the available technologies that can be used for early detection and risk mapping.

  2. Workshop with all partners to discuss the diseases and the technologies that can be used to detect these, using as a basis the reports indicated above (taken place in Elvas, December 2 & 3, 2021).

  3. Small scale technology testing. The results of the workshop will be used to identify technologies destined to undergo small-scale testing, with the aim of identifying the most promising for inclusion in a large-scale proposal.

  4. Project preparation. The final aim of the PREPARE call is to generate a preliminary version for a proposal that can be submitted for funding.
Workshop promoted by InPP in Elvas, on the 2nd and 3rd December 2021




Líder de projeto, InPP
Investigadora, InPP
Investigadora, InPP
Investigadora, InPP
Investigador, InPP
Rocío Hernández-Clemente
O Melro
Smart Farm CoLAB
Biome Makers
Biome Makers