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A local farmer holding the fruit from two Lady’s Finger crops has scooped a top spot in a national science photography competition.

Vimal Bhojraj’s photo won third prize in the People & Skills category, in the contest run by the Engineer and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The award-winning image highlights the benefits of SCORRES research and was taken on location in Buddha Garden, India.

In the picture, the fruit on the right coming from a manually irrigated crop, while the fruit on the left comes from an automated irrigated crop.

Vimal works for Heriot-Watt University’s Indian partner - Auroville Consulting on the SCORRES project – looking at a micro-irrigation system on a farm in Tamil Nadu, India.

Initial results reveal, the system has had a profound impact on the farm’s use of natural resources: water use has reduced by up to 80 percent, and the crop yield doubled in some cases.

Lucy Bryden entered the photo into the competition on Vimal’s behalf as the University is a lead partner in the consortium.

She said:  “The SCORRES project team is delighted to be runner up in the national competition.

“The photograph really captures the essence of the project results. SCORRES is a highly innovative project delivering a precision irrigation system with pilot trials in Auroville in South India.

“Early results indicate significant water and energy reductions with increased crop yields as evidenced in the winning photo of the Lady Finger fruits.

“Heriot Watt is the lead partner in the project and has provided the energy, water modelling research. The team is very excited by the results and is actively pursuing other funding so that this research can be commercialised into an affordable product and the potential water and energy reductions realised.”

Professor Tom Rodden, EPSRC’s Deputy Chief Executive said: “Every year we are stunned by the quality and creativity of the entries into our competition and this year has been no exception.

“The images help the public engage with the research they fund, and I hope they will spark interest in science and engineering among people, young or older.”

The SCORRES project is led by Professor Eddie Owens, director of Heriot-Watt’s Energy Academy, and is funded by Innovate UK. Project partners include Auraventi Ltd, Scene Connect, Findhorn Foundation College, Auroville Consulting and Auroville Centre for Scientific Research