An innovative vertical farming project will grow even further with the launch of a new accelerator program. For two years, the Tech Tyfu pilot initiative – delivered by not-for-profit organization Menter Mon – has worked with growers in Gwynedd and Anglesey to develop fresh micro greens using sustainable, water-based hydroponic methods.
Their success has seen the initiative Scale-Up to include more producers who will receive further advice and guidance, equipment, and ongoing business and marketing support. Promoting food tourism and strengthening the local supply chain in northwest Wales, project officer David Wylie, based at M-SParc on Anglesey, says Tech Tyfu will give the agriculture sector a post-pandemic boost.
“We are delighted with the results and positive feedback received from the growers,” he said. “They have demonstrated there is an appetite for tasty, fresh microgreens while securing sales from restaurants, independent stores, and consumers at food fairs and events.
“The next step is to open this up to more supply chains and measure success in other areas; along the way, we will be exploring research and development opportunities and continuing to push the boundaries of innovation to highlight the benefits of vertical farming and open another channel for farmers, businesses, and the food industry to diversify.”
Vertical farming allows growers to control the environment of their crop, which improves water and nutrient use efficiency by up to an order of magnitude, as well as allowing growers to create the conditions necessary to grow out-of-season crops, reducing pressure on the food supply chain as well as transport, packaging, and refrigeration costs.
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