Indoor Vertical Farming is a fast-emerging agriculture technology which provides compelling solutions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: waste less food and support local farmers (Goal 2), avoid wasting water (Goal 6) and provide decent work (Goal 8).
However, few early adopters are making a profit.
Urban Crop Solutions has worked tirelessly to find a sensible solution to the open issues many investors and growers still face today. The initial Capex or investment cost is high and creates the need for a scalable solution. The unique freshness, taste and shelf life of the crops go to niche markets with ever-changing needs, which requires a Plant Factory to be extremely adaptable. Also, high labor costs push Indoor Farms to implement more automation and become more efficient.
Based on the experiences and feedback of the customers on the 1st generation products, a new generation Plant Factory was designed from the ground up. The company believes it developed a concept that ‘simply makes sense’.
"Scalable, adaptable, and efficient"
The ModuleX can be configured between 2 to 64 Grow Modules, which means that the Plant Factory is scalable. One Grow Module contains 86 m² (925 sq.ft) of growing surface, yielding about 6,000 kg/year (13,228 lbs/year) of fresh vegetables. Each separate module features an independent climate and nutrient system, allowing the mix of crops to be adaptable to customers’ needs.
The base price is an industry-low Capex of 1,800 EUR per m² growing surface ex-works (199 USD/sq.ft). The labor costs are reduced by the automated crop-to-person ‘BenchCarousel’. For example, the ModuleX-8 has 8 Grow Modules for a total of 688 m² (7,403 sq.ft). The base price is 1,238,400 EUR (approx. 1.47 mm USD) for an output of 44 ton/year of romaine lettuce (97,000 lbs/year). For mid-sized solutions under 5500 m² growing surface, this is probably the most efficient solution on the market today.
To help people in the long and confusing journey into indoor vertical farming, the company also initiates an end-to-end support program, with a free feasibility calculator, technical support, biological consulting, and contract research. Urban Crop Solutions also developed a Corona-proof support system for training, set-up, startup and first harvest support of any ModuleX Grow Module, which all can now happen remotely.
Tom Debusschere, CEO of Urban Crop Solutions: “We’ve been listening closely to the feedback of our customers and we found improvements just about everywhere. But the breakthrough invention is the automated BenchCarousel. This new crop-to-person carousel brings any bench of your choice to you within 90 seconds. It also allows us to fit a growing surface of 86m² (925sq.ft) within a 40ft insulated freight container, which we believe is an industry record.
"What you really pay for is growing surface, labor and electricity, and the ModuleX Plant Factory offers a step-change improvement in each. We invite you to take a look at our new website, with the investment cost in full transparency, so you can quickly see which solution is the best fit for you.”
For more information:
Urban Crop Solutions
Grote Heerweg 67, 8791 Beveren-Leie (Waregem), Belgium
800 Brickell Avenue 1100 Suite, Miami (FL 33131), USA
+32 56 96 03 06