When we think about agriculture, the first thing that may come to our minds is rural areas or the countryside. What about agriculture in urban areas? With the increasing emphasis on healthy living, people are opting for living greens rather than packaged greens.
However, low production in urban areas is limiting access to affordable living greens and is leading to an over-reliance on imported greens. Imported greens do not appeal to customers who are increasingly looking for fresh and optimal nutrition as the long haul transportation would degrade the quality and nutritional values of the greens. How can we solve these existing problems facing the production of living greens in our urban areas?
Vending machine-sized smart mobile farms are entering supermarkets to reduce carbon footprints
Farmacy is the first “Agri-Prop’’ technology company in Asia building decentralized smart mobile in-store farms in highly urbanized areas. The smart mobile farms leverage IoT and cloud-based innovative technology applications. This enables farming at supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, and households at the highest quality standard, growing safe, nutrient-rich, and affordable crops.
Farmacy’s latest mobile farm models can grow around 3,500 plants per year with 1 square metre of space. The company has indoor farming-sized mobile farms of around 8 square metre that can be seen in Cyberport, Hong Kong, which has a yearly production of around 28,000 plants. That is equivalent to the production of 2,000 square meter of outdoor land. In terms of land yield (a hundred multiple!).
Their cloud-based platform will continuously adjust and optimize the growing environment so plants can grow better over time. Their smart mobile farm can also be stacked on each other to fit any space and size within different infrastructure and locations.
Technology adoption is growing the smart agriculture market
In 2020, the smart agriculture market is estimated to be at USD 13.8 billion with a projection to reach USD 22.0 billion in 2025. During this forecasted period, it is expected to grow with a CAGR of 9.8%. (Source)
This market is expected to experience further growth owing to the increasing adoption of revolutionary technologies for smart agriculture.
Education is needed to allow urban farming for future generations
Farmacy is envisioned to have 4,000 mobile farm units in Asia in the coming years. Farmacy is targeting over 20% of supermarkets in Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia to install their mobile farms.
The company has also partnered with schools to develop “Grow for Future” courses with various topics covering the operation of an indoor farm, the characteristics of different greens, as well as new agriculture technologies and sustainability.
The advancement of technology would certainly accelerate innovations in smart agriculture and bring us forward in urban farming. However, it is also important to educate students about the current circumstances of climate change and the need for smart farming.
Written by Olivier Samson
FarmacyHK Website: https://www.farmacyhk.com/
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