“Since we launched our business, we noticed that the biggest challenge faced by players is paying energy bills. We specifically constructed our system with this in mind,” says Viktor Kulcsár, COO at Veles Farming.
Veles Farming is a Slovakian vertical farming company that was founded in mid-2021 with a mission to develop templates and technologies to “unlock the new phase of vertical farming”, according to the company’s website. In practice, this means Veles Farming specializes in designing vertical farms for complex crops to improve the profitability of vertical farming.
Viktor Kulcsár and Miroslav Hroncek
“We choose to concentrate on more complex crops because they allow us to leverage the technology more effectively than with simple crops. Complex crops may prove to be more productive, efficient and sustainable,” says Viktor.
While Veles Farming technically uses the same materials as many vertical farming companies, the secret lies in how these pieces are arranged. As Viktor explains, “the combination of the growing tower design, crop arrangement, growing recipes and expertise distinguishes Veles Farming from others.”
The Veles system
Saffron today, ginseng and wasabi next
Veles Farming is currently focusing on designing systems for the production of high-quality saffron. In coming years, the company hopes to develop technologies for medicinal herbs, gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, ginseng, wasabi, exotic plants and cereals.
Currently, Veles Farming has a 60-square-meter research facility in Slovakia equipped with a 32-square-meter growth chamber. In this chamber, the company is continuously testing its commercial growing tower which stands 5 meters tall and has 30 square meters of growing area.
“With our current system, we can grow the same quantity of saffron indoors on 30 square meters as conventional farms outside over a square kilometer,” says Viktor.
Aside from its in-house research, the company has conducted trials in the Netherlands and is looking into developing external research partnerships. Owing to its home base in Slovakia, Veles Farming is currently focusing on the European market but is eager to expand in the US and the Middle East.
According to Viktor, 2023 will be a major year for the company as its prototype will have its first full year of operation with full production and the company will be raising funds for its pilot plant in Slovakia. Veles Farming is also a participant in the Founders Institute Found Accelerator program and the NewChips fundraising program.