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Compromises you should not be making when establishing a vertical farm (video)

Establishing even a tiny vertical farm is a very capital-intensive project, regardless of whether it is a hobby or business. Experts agree that this very specific food production currently brings stable profits mainly to suppliers of materials and equipment for such projects. In this connection, the desire of the owners of vertical farms to save some money on construction and operation is quite understandable. The more interesting is the critical look at such intentions of Timur Muradov, co-owner of the company Croponix (Moldova), which has its own vertical farm and establishes vertical farms for others. He presented his recommendations on what you should not save on at an online conference “Vertical Farms: Development Strategy, Business Models and Risks” held by FAO/EBRD Fruit Trade Development Project, EastFruit, and Sapienza Media.

According to Timur Muradov, the first significant risk arises when the project owner refuses to carry out the necessary repairs and high-quality, professional installation of electricity and water supply on the premises of the future farm. Another mistake is an attempt to save on structural materials: black painted metal instead of galvanized metal structures, for example.

Read also: Vertical farms in Eastern Europe – an expensive hype, a promising future, or a profitable business? (video)

The specialist believes the owner of a vertical farm should not refuse to install automation systems, especially in plant nutrition. Quite controversial is the decision to use household or “semi-professional” equipment, such as low-power air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and heaters, even on small vertical farms. It is also not worth saving on cheap consumables, in particular – buying lamps with a lifespan of fewer than 50 000 hours, since this is a risk of lighting stability (which has a great impact on the quality and quantity of the crop).

At the same time, as Timur Muradov believes, using only “standard solutions offered by equipment and installation services suppliers” when creating vertical farms is not the best solution. There is always a need for a dynamic balance “between serial industrial and custom craft solutions”.

Watch Timur Muradov’s presentation:

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