At the foot of the Auvergne volcanoes, cilantro, dill, fennel, and tagetes are growing inside a container farm in Limagne, made possible by software developed by Lyon-based start-up Vif Systems, specialists in vertical farms.
For the past year, 42-year-old Julien Chatard, a cereal grower from Aubiat (Puy-de-Dôme), who also cultivates 27 ha of barley and wheat, has been riding this CEA adventure.
A hundred installations in the short term
"For me, it's a guaranteed additional income of 1,000 euros a month for the time being. Once the container is paid off, I'll be making 2,000 euros per month. It's interesting and low-risk because this crop isn't subject to the vagaries of the weather or fluctuations in grain prices.
Vif Systems has supplied the containers and the technology. The farmer planted seedlings delivered in trays. Eleven days later, the plants are sold to Limagrain, a seed company based in Auvergne (which has just acquired a 25% stake in the Lyon-based start-up), before being sold to restaurants in Lyon. For an investment of less than 100,000 euros, the farmers who are trying out this first in France have already been won over. By the end of 2023, eleven containers should have been set up in the Puy-de-Dôme region. A hundred more could soon blossom in Auvergne.
Source: Le Parisien