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Scaling up indoor and urban farming systems in the Asia-Pacific region

Ahead of the virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit, we caught up with Marinus Luiten, Business Developer Indoor Growing at Priva about scaling up indoor and urban farming systems in the Asia-Pacific region. 

What role can urban and indoor farming play in delivering greater sustainability and resilience to Asia’s urban food systems, especially post-Covid? 
We believe indoor farming plays an important role in the sustainable food production of the future. Indoor farming will not replace traditional agriculture or in most cases even high- tech greenhouses. But together with a mix of novel technology, it will contribute to making the food chain more sustainable, resilient and cost-effective.

The world population is growing rapidly. With a growing attention for healthy living, consumers demand a healthy environment and access to safe and nutritious food. Climate change affects our surroundings and threatens our health and safety needs. We need to take action on problems such as nitrogen emissions and freshwater shortage. At the same time, a lack of skilled workers means we need to tackle these challenges in a different way. These trends create a bigger demand for food, produced locally, safe and fresh, as sustainable as possible.

This asks for effective and efficient production of food in controlled environment agriculture. For growers as well as investors, this is a big opportunity to scale up your business and increase your market share. But with fewer technically skilled growers available to run your operations, this calls for an increased level of automation and a deeper understanding of the market.

Marinus Luiten 

What partnerships and collaborations are needed to scale controlled environment agriculture in Asia?
We are looking for all technology providers, whether onsite sensor/actuator providers or online data processing/services companies to connect to this open ecosystem.

Over the years, new technologies have become available. These developments make it possible to change the way we control our indoor farms and use the limited amount of available staff and resources. It’s time for a different approach! We believe we need to connect and work together to make all the latest technologies available to tackle current and future growing challenges.

To make it easier to grow a profitable crop, with a minimal impact on the environment. Over the last few years, we’ve invested in creating a future proof platform, based on cloud technology. We believe this is of vital importance to be able to connect data and technologies and to scale up our positive impact on the way we produce our crops.

What key insights will you be looking out for personally at the summit?
We are looking for new ecosystem partners to connect with to our 20,000-farm installed base. Our roots are in measurement and control technology, which forms the fundament for managing crop growth. Connecting these systems to the cloud unlocks new possibilities for further innovation based on big data analysis and artificial intelligence.

With clear insights, based on your own greenhouse data and our elaborate database, we will be able to optimize growing results, such as crop quality and quantity and make accurate yield predictions more easily. It will also offer new ways to lower the footprint and improve traceability of your products.

At last, we can use modern technologies to use the huge amounts of data your greenhouse generates to optimize the growing process. By storing and processing the data in the cloud we can provide you with detailed insights to better control your crop. By adding knowledge to the anonymous data of our extensive database, we can further optimize our applications, providing you with ever-improving features.

For more information:
Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit 

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