Eden Towers and Holland Bio Products have partnered to create a 'vertical farm in a box,' where the technology, inputs, and operations are all provided to new farmers at a super low entry cost point.
The goal is to establish 50 microfarms across Asia in the next 2 years, producing over 200 tonnes per year on a footprint and with a cost profile that is attainable given the socioeconomic conditions of each country.
"We are attempting to solve for the related problems of security of supply in developing countries and high cost of production in developed countries. Our goal with this project is to show the industry that a disruptive model in the microfarm supply chain can work and can be scaled," Eden Towers' CEO Christina Prokscha says.
"We will target Asia first, as it is a market where supply, population, and logistics network make it difficult for large-scale farms to make a profit. We believe that our market network provides 2 valuable opportunities for farmer support and profitability," explains Kees Kuijper, VP of Research and Development at Holland Bio Products.
IP sharing program
Together, they have set up a knowledge and IP sharing program that drastically reduces the entrance cost into the vertical farming market and is tailored to support low-income farmers in developing countries with access to new technology, larger market opportunities, and a clear path toward profit.
The initiative is designed to address the problem of achieving market access at profitable levels, which is usually the hardest part of small-scale vertical farming. Combining Eden Towers' and Holland Bio Products' newly developed IP on the growing method, plus IP from its partners, the new concept is taking shape between Holland, Australia, India, and Indonesia.
"We intend to deploy the microfarms across sites where our market network has grown in recent months. By delivering ready-made market access, we can provide our microfarmers with the same gross margins that we can attain. This is where the real magic happens," shares Christian.
Establishing farms across Asia
The scheduled farms will be supported by Eden Towers' commercial scale facilities, in-country operations across Asia, and Holland Bio Products' global supply chain for high-quality vertical farming inputs. A key part of the solution is the provision of high-quality, repeatable input supplies to the microfarms, partly enabled through HollansBio's super high-quality pre-seeded mats and pre-seeded plugs.
"Our pre-seeded mats and plugs are high quality and provide farmers with a huge cost saving over manual seeding. The product is proven in developed markets and delivers high quality, high yield, and fast harvest cycles," Kees adds.