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Finland: 'New possibilities for vertical farming with high-wire crops'

Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) has patented a vertical farming solution that enables the production of high-wire crops in vertical farming.

Lettuce and herbs have already been grown in vertical farming for years. The technology developed by Luke takes vertical farming a step forward by diversifying the crop range: for example, cucumbers and protein-rich beans can be grown cost-effectively in layers. "We developed a technology to produce more nutritious crops in addition to lettuce and herbs. Various nutrition recommendations encourage people to eat more vegetables. It's important that their production can also be ensured in the future," says Titta Kotilainen, Senior Scientist at Luke.

Luke has patented the technology in several countries. Their unique solution is waiting for further development and extensive deployment. "There is no similar solution for high-wire crops yet available on the market. Food production is changing, and Luke is now looking for a partner to launch the highly advanced technology on the crop production market of the future," says Pauli Saarenketo, IPR Manager at Luke.

Reliable harvests and new business
In vertical farming, the controlled growing environment enables crop production independent of climate conditions, as well as clean and safe products, management of weather and harvest risks, and effective and steady production. "With vertical farming approach, crops can be produced year-round in areas where cultivation would otherwise be impossible. In addition, Luke's technology is scalable from small farms to large-scale production. What is more, a vertical farm can even be set up, say, in city centers," Kotilainen says. In addition to edible crops, Luke's technology can also be used to grow hops that are sensitive to weather conditions and pests. "In a business sense, hops offer a significant potential."

The decreasing area of arable land, combined with fluctuating weather conditions and harvest-destroying pests brought along by climate change, has made it necessary to seek solutions to produce food for the ever-growing population. "Unfortunately, farming will be ever more challenging in the future as climate change progresses. Conventional and cellular agriculture is not the only solution to guarantee food supply," says Lotta Heikkilä, Senior Customer Manager at Luke. "We need pioneers in food production who are ready to turn vertical farming into new business to combat the challenges presented by the constantly changing production environment."

For more information:
LUKE- Natural Resources Institute Finland
+358 29 532 6000

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