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Malaysia: "In order to make products affordable, we have to achieve economy of scale"

"As we grow bigger we can produce more and sell more locally. On top of that, we can become more price competitive as possible, given there's no point for me to sell to the top 20 supermarkets in Malaysia. The bigger we go, the more economy of scale I achieve providing a cheaper price so that everyone in Malaysia can afford healthy vegetables," says Sean Lee, Founder and CEO of NewGen Agronomy Sdn Bhd, a vertical farm based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Two years ago, Sean embarked on a journey that would transform Kuala Lumpur's food scene and nourish the hearts of many. It all began with a simple aquaponics system in his backyard, driven by a burning passion to provide Malaysians with the cleanest, freshest greens imaginable. Sean's passion for vertical farming has helped him transform his passion into an actual vertical farm, based in Kuala Lumpur.

Sean Lee

Sean's initial venture into aquaponics was a humble experiment, a testament to his unwavering dedication. Day by day, he nurtured both fish and foliage, learning valuable lessons in harmony, balance, and sustainability from the intricate dance between aquatic life and thriving plants. Two years later, the young entrepreneur's dream is a dazzling reality. His aquaponics project has blossomed into a fully-fledged indoor farm based in the country's capital.

On top of the farm control, NewGen's fertilizer is sourced locally from Malaysia to grow 'premium veggies', allowing them to control every input of the farm, as Sean explains. They grow various kinds of lettuce varieties such as Romaine, Butterhead, and coral romaine, using the self-made farming system that aids them in cultivating.

Germination is done inside the 6000 sq. ft. farm, and after three weeks the plants are transplanted into the main farm entering their final growing stage. The end product weighs about 100 to 150 grams each. Sold in recycled plastic and cardboard, NewGen products, ready-to-eat salads and heads of lettuce are available in surrounding local supermarkets. Then, there are bigger-sized boxes available for players in the catering industry, that come in larger product numbers.

Besides cultivating themselves, NewGen leverages technologies aiming to change farming practices. "Our comprehensive range of smart farming solutions enables farmers to make data-driven decisions, optimize resource allocation, and enhance crop yields while minimizing environmental impact."

Strawberry trials
When entering a slightly darker room on the top floor, Sean explains that NewGen is conducting strawberry trials as well given the demand for the product. The strawberries trialed consist of red, white and pink varieties from Korea, China and Japan.

Mini farms
Seeing a growing demand for vertical farming and the end product, Sean and his team built a 'Mini Farm'. "You can harvest heads of lettuce for only 5 Ringgit (1,05USD), which is quite affordable as greens are rather expensive here."

For more information:
New Gen Greens
Sean Lee, Founder and CEO
+60 183 875 647

[email protected]