April 13, 2024


Technology and Age

AgriFORCE Advanced Technology Stands Out in a Suddenly Crowded Controlled Environment Agriculture and Vertical Farming Industry

Photo by Mark Stebnicki from Pexels

Food security continues to be at the forefront of global social and environmental issues, with vertical farms forcing farmers and entrepreneurs to reimagine what future food production technology will create. AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: AGRI) aims to become a recognized player in the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) space and vertical farms movement, using advanced technology to develop new systems to deliver sustainable solutions for high-value crops.

While there has been a virtual harvest of new companies in the CEA and vertical farming space, AgriFORCE has set itself apart through its advanced and proprietary facility designs. The AgriFORCE grow houses have a unique building envelope that substantially allows the full light spectrum and significant ultraviolet (UV) in to provide the plants with as close to natural light as is possible. In addition, its sealed, positive-pressure microenvironment provides optimal temperature and humidity, velocity, filtration and sanitation of airflow using the principles of biomimicry.

The company has also taken a leadership role in the industry by developing proprietary intellectual property (IP) technology. Many competitors and businesses in the agriculture movement have relied solely on purchasing “off-the-shelf” equipment and technology.

Companies that have gained attention in this new agricultural movement have developed their own value propositions by focusing on specific aspects of the CEA and vertical farming movement. Those companies include:

Hydrofarm Holdings Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HYFM) manufactures and distributes controlled environment agriculture equipment and supplies and is explicitly aligned with the vertical farming industry. The company recently rolled out 6 new products for sustainable indoor farming.

Village Farms International Inc. (NASDAQ: VFF) has been developing and operating large-scale greenhouses for the past 3 decades and has nearly 500 acres of greenhouse operations. Like many in this space, it touts the ability to use much less water and land than outdoor farming and has begun to invest in cannabis-specific growing.

CubicFarm Systems (OTC: CUBXF), a small Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, concentrates on eliminating food waste with indoor agricultural systems using hydroponic technology. The company is building and selling automated growing machines and has employed vertical farm consultants.

AeroFarms (NASDAQ: ARFM) was founded in 2004 and has recently gone public, promoting itself as the “world leader in vertical farming.” The company’s stated goal is to solve issues from population growth, water scarcity, arable land loss and supply chain risks. AeroFarms claims it achieves up to 390 times greater productivity per square foot versus traditional farming by using a data-driven approach.

AppHarvest Inc. (NASDAQ: APPH) has launched 3 controlled-environment greenhouses in Kentucky, which it chose because of its central U.S. location. This year, AppHarvest harvested its 1st crop of tomatoes in an effort to help reduce reliance and emissions from imported tomatoes, which in 2019 represented 60% of the nation’s tomatoes. The company’s facilities employ a closed-loop system that runs entirely off recycled rainwater to eliminate agricultural runoff and reduce water usage.

CubicFarm® Systems Corp. (TSXV: CUB) was founded in 2015 by farmers with a mission to transform the agriculture system to enable local food and feed independence. The company provides automated on-site commercial-scale food and livestock feed technologies that convert wasteful long supply chain agriculture into local chains.

Kalera AS (OTC: KSLLF) is working toward a rapid expansion this year. The Orlando, Florida-based vertical farm company is now moving into Atlanta, Denver and Houston. The Houston facilities will be the largest vertical farms in Texas, while the Atlanta location will be the highest production volume vertical farm in the Southeast. All the new facilities are geared toward serving grocers and restaurants in the respective farm locations.

The global pandemic has caused many CEA and vertical farming companies to fill the gap or replace traditional agricultural and food systems. AgriFORCE has set the pace for technological development with a 1st-of-its-kind precision ecosystem that aims to produce cost-effective, clean, green and better tasting products as well as medical-grade plant-based nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. The company has designed its proprietary AgriFORCE grow house to produce in virtually any environmental condition and to optimize crop yields to as near their full genetic potential as possible while substantially eliminating the need for the use of pesticides and irradiation.

To learn more about AgriFORCE, go to www.agriforcegs.com

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