Darmstadt/Dieburg – Water scarcity, intensive use of fertilizers, rising CO2 and methane emissions: Agriculture is facing major challenges. As part of the European Horizon Europe project “Farmwise”, researchers at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da) are working on the development of innovative AI systems to tackle these problems. They are intended to help not only farmers, but also political and civil society groups to make informed decisions based on scientific data. Twenty partners from twelve European countries are involved in the project. The EU is funding the three-year research project with six million euros, of which h_da is receiving around 600,000 euros.

“Our aim is to process relevant information using artificial intelligence and visualize it using visual analytics in such a way that it can be understood and used by different target groups,” says Prof. Dr. Kawa Nazemi, an expert in human-computer interaction and visual analytics at h_da. To this end, the “Human-Computer Interaction and Visual Analytics” research group, which he heads, combines AI-based analyses with user-friendly interactive visualizations to enable a comprehensive understanding of agricultural systems and their interactions with environmental factors. This will enable farmers and decision-makers to evaluate sustainable measures and model future scenarios.

In order to achieve this, information on water resources, soil quality and nutrient cycles must be prepared for specific target groups. This means that the data must be specifically adapted for farmers, political decision-makers and civil society organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issues. The aim is to provide all stakeholders with innovative systems to make decisions that not only promise short-term success, but also promote long-term sustainability in the agricultural sector.

Prof. Dr. Kawa Nazemi explains the interdisciplinary cooperation within the Farmwise consortium using an example: a farm is considering the intensive cultivation of avocados in the arid region of southern Spain. This situation raises numerous questions that are being investigated by the experts involved from the fields of water management, agricultural science, climate and AI research: Is the cultivation of water-intensive fruits justifiable in a region where water is scarce? What impact does this have on soil quality and what are the consequences of using fertilizers? Both short and long-term perspectives will be examined, taking into account ecological, economic and social aspects, in order to assess whether an investment in avocado cultivation is sustainable and worthy of political support.

The consortium is now dedicated to collecting and analyzing extensive amounts of data in order to outline a detailed picture of the current situation and possible future scenarios. This information is not only important for the agricultural business, but also for political and civil society actors who need to understand the environmental impact of their decisions. In addition, economic factors are examined in order to avoid possible dependence on avocado imports. The results of these analyses are prepared in a way that is appropriate for the target group in order to enable a clear and comprehensible visualization of the data. In this way, the research project helps to ensure that all stakeholders can make decisions based on solid information that contribute to sustainable development in the agricultural sector.

Professor Nazemi and his team are responsible for a key area within the project: the visual processing and presentation of data-based analyses and future forecasts using artificial intelligence. “It’s not just about providing information, but rather about how this information is prepared and presented to the respective target groups to support decision-making,” explains the expert in data analysis, information visualization and AI.

The Farmwise project is characterized by its international and transdisciplinary cooperation, with partners from countries such as Italy, Ireland, France, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and Ukraine. The project is led by Lund University in Sweden. The researchers are working together in transnational task force groups to collect data from various sources, analyze it using AI technologies and evaluate it. The aim is to develop an innovative decision support system for challenges such as water pollution and climate change. Ideally, the project will lead to tangible results that form the basis for sustainable changes in dealing with these global problems.


Expert contact person for the media

Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Department of Computer Science

Prof. Dr. Kawa Nazemi


Simon Colin

Press Spokesman

University Communications


A detailed article on the topic can be found in our science magazine impact: https://impact.h-da.de/