AI Platform Turns Empty Office Spaces Into Smart Urban Vertical Farms

September 2, 2020 by

As the global pandemic continues with many people still working from home, large amounts of urban office space remain empty. To offset consequential disruptions to the food supply chains, a group of Finnish digital agtech entrepreneurs has come up with a novel idea for turning these spaces into smart urban farms.

The folks at iFarm who develop urban farming technologies have launched Growtune, an artificial intelligence (AI) SaaS platform that facilitates the fully automated and remote management of sustainable and economically viable indoor vertical farms.

The platform monitors lighting, nutrient content and concentration, microclimate, plant growth rate, and farm staff activities. It spots inconsistencies in plant growth at an early stage, alerting farmers to any relevant deviations to optimize plant growth and net cost.

Growtune stores knowledge from hundreds of farming professionals including agronomists, plant health specialists, engineers and biologists—expertise available to all iFarm clients in the form of a library of plant growth recipes developed and optimized for growing a wide variety of leafy greens, herbs and microgreens.

Scaled for production sites of any size, Growtune assists urban farmers in all aspects of vertical farm management, from selecting crops to scheduling harvests. By collecting Big Data from farms all over the world, iFarm constantly improves its AI algorithms, factoring in data from IoT (Internet of Things) devices, computer vision, production and sales reports.

The smart platform remotely manages a wide range of essential tasks including regulation of the microclimate, lighting, nutrient schedules as well as early disease detection.

Indoor farming in controlled environments already minimizes pests and eliminates weather challenges. By decreasing labor costs by 20%, Growtune makes it even easier for farmers to increase crop yields and financial gains by saving time and energy otherwise spent on machinery maintenance and staff management.

The iFarm team wants to hear from anyone interested in starting an urban vertical farm. The company actively promotes networks of sustainable food-related businesses and provides support in a range of ways, from technology solutions to investment and retail opportunities.

via Springwise. Photos via iFarm.


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