The story of ROKO Farming begins at the end of 2019 with a field test in the living room. Twin brothers Sascha and Philip Rose have the idea to develop a vertical aeroponic system with automatic sowing and harvesting processes. They were amazed to find out their model works. Then it became clear: they want to turn their idea into a reality.
ROKO Farming wants to make the process more cost- and energy-efficient. "We have developed an automatic production system in which the plants travel in a circle and are harvested one after the other," explains Sascha.
Sustainability, in particular, is high on ROKO Farming's list of priorities. "Actually, that's our motivation," says Sascha. "We want to do our part to make the world more sustainable." An important concern of the start-up founders is therefore to invest part of their profits in renaturation projects. Only then will vertical farming also become truly sustainable.
Sascha and Philip's first attempts at growing vegetables were limited to relatively easy-to-cultivate plants like lettuce and herbs. The large vertical farms in the U.S. and the U.K. also specialize in this. But to feed humanity, that's not enough.
"That's why we successfully implemented a series of experiments with potatoes. After all, we need to be able to grow calorie-dense vegetables first and foremost," Sascha explains in an interview with good news for you. Strawberries are currently growing in the ROKO Farming facility, with the hope of harvesting the fruit even during winter time in Germany. After all, the plant offers the best conditions regardless of the climatic conditions outside. The next step would be to grow cereals such as wheat, barley or corn. This would also be interesting for dry regions of the world such as Africa.
There is still a long way to go until then, "but the beginning has been made," Sascha is pleased to say and looks positively to the future. "We are young people and we want to make a difference in the world. And things are already moving." The fact that more and more people have understood that something has to move is shown by the success of the young start-up even before the first plant was built. The two people from Neu-Ulm were the winners of the city of Ulm's first innovation competition. "That gave us a lot of tailwinds," confirms Sascha.
Even if there are still some criticisms of the technology and it seems "unnatural" to many to produce food in closed buildings under artificial light, the advantages are obvious. The very land we could reclaim would be a boon to people and nature. "Vertical farming is just one part of a big solution, but not the only one," concludes Sascha. And just as the two brothers have built a small but functioning model in their living room, Vertical Farming can contribute to the agriculture of the future. Agriculture that feeds us and at the same time affects our environment as little as possible.
Source: Good News For You (In German)