AutoPot's Jason Ralph-Smith recently visited South Korea for the collaboration with Griin Agriculture, where he was greeted by Francisco Kweon, CEO of Griin Agriculture.
"First on the agenda was a visit to Griin’s indoor R&D facility and a chance to see their watering systems in action. Walls and walls of basil, grown vertically, are one of the star attractions there. These walls require minimal space and are efficiently lit by LEDs. The basil itself is big business in South Korea and fetches a pretty high price of around $50 per kilo."
"Indoor growing is capable of capturing the lucrative market in crops grown under controlled conditions. True, floorspace comes at a premium. But South Koreans have long embraced verticality and have ready access to the manufacturing required for any kind of watering system, more examples of which were on show at Griin’s lettuce and strawberry farms."
AutoPot's technology stands to be inside Griin’s space-saving systems in the coming years. On a business level, this was the crux of Jason’s trip: to review Griin’s designs, share some expertise, and build a relationship. "Francisco already has a mooted vertical system featuring AutoPot under a 20-year patent, and we’re delighted to say that the plans look stellar. Griin knows our systems inside-out, as they’ve been growing with and supplying AutoPot to the South Korean market for some time. This includes a foray into the home-growing sector, which has brought about another tantalizing collaboration."
Running in tandem with the crossover farming systems are plans to develop some rather special 1Pot modules for the general public. These standalone, self-contained models have been specially conceived with the needs of South Korean home growers in mind. As Francisco told Jason, for many middle-class South Koreans their only available growing spaces are the windows or balconies of their apartment buildings. "Therefore, we’re looking to incorporate the reservoir into the module itself, keeping the footprint to an absolute minimum," said Francisco.