1 500 kg of vegetables and herbs are produced daily by the Ukrainian innovative vertical farm on 1 500 m2. Ukrainian agrarian Volodymyr Novy, director of Green Wave Organic, has created a unique vertical complex for growing vegetables and herbs.
He spoke about this, as well as about the development of a cluster of vertical farms in the center of the Ukrainian wholesale fruit and vegetable trade, during the conference “Vegetables and Fruits – 2022” organized by the APK Inform: Vegetables and Fruits in Kyiv with the support of the FAO/EBRD project in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. EastFruit and Sapienza.media were information partners of the event.
Volodymyr Novy created a complex for the vertical cultivation of vegetables and herbs in Zolochiv, Lviv region. He had the idea of its creation in 2016, and the first stage of production was launched in 2018. Vladimir Novy noted during his speech that Ukraine has significantly increased the import of vegetables in recent years, which affected the domestic fruit and vegetable industry. Ukrainian farmers needed to find new technologies for growing to compete with imports both in terms of pricing policy and quality.
“Our complex is automated, which allows us to significantly reduce the influence of the human factor on the production. I believe that the future belongs to such solutions. Thanks to their implementation, our country will be able to stop importing various products soon,” says Volodymyr Novy.
He noted that 750 000 plants grow simultaneously at 1 500 m2 of the complex created by Green Wave Organic. 1 500 kg of vegetables and herbs are produced there daily. The shelves of the Green Wave Organic vertical farm are 3.5 m high, and the width between the two fields is 1.2 m.
To ensure comfortable conditions for growing, the company’s specialists have created advanced lighting, climate control, nutrition, and vertical irrigation systems. For example, after a series of studies, representatives of Green Wave Organic placed the lighting system in the complex at the maximum optimal distance from the plants to reduce costs.
The climate control system contains a huge buffer capacity, which takes a large amount of energy during the period of overheating. In case of high demand, heat energy is returned from reserves. “One of the most important achievements of our complex is the lack of a heating system. Moreover, we collect so much thermal energy that we can produce 10 megawatts of heat per day from 0.15 of our complex,” says Vladimir Novy.
Green Wave Organic also created its own unique plant nutrition system. “We work with many Ukrainian scientists that offer interactive solutions. Thanks to them, we have reduced the volume of mineral fertilizers used from the beginning until now by almost half. That is, now we use only 50% of mineral fertilizers we planned,” the specialist says.
With the vertical irrigation system at Green Wave Organic, the nutrients are in a closed environment in a state of constant circulation. This ensures the homogeneity of the solution and its supply at the same temperature and composition.
In the beginning, specialists were engaged in the cultivation of lettuce, herbs, and microgreens in the complex. Green Wave Organic specialists are working in test mode on a project on vegetable production – tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The company established the process of growing ornamental bushes and trees. There are also medicinal plants in the assortment of Green Wave Organic, and domestic and foreign producers of animal feed are interested in purchasing them.
With his complex of vertical cultivation of vegetables and herbs, Volodymyr Novy strives to supply Ukrainian consumers with high-quality fresh products. Indeed, vegetables and herbs can be grown in vertical farms as close as possible to the points of sale. Thus, you can significantly save on logistics. Customers will receive fresh produce right from the farm at an affordable price.
“By placing such complexes in the city, we can reduce logistics costs by 10 times. Such decisions give us the right to expect that we will find our niche in the Ukrainian market. After all, our company sees a huge need for what it does. Even a small complex of 15 acres covers the need for herbs almost throughout Western Ukraine,” says Volodymyr Novy.
You can learn more about the concept of vertical business at the online conference “Vertical Farms: Development Strategies, Business Models and Risks” to be held on December 14, 2022. The event is hosted by the FAO/EBRD Fruit Trade Development Project, EastFruit, and Sapienza.media. To participate in the conference, register at the link.
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