In a traditional farming method, a farmer can grow one harvest a year or a few at maximum, depending on the crop. This agricultural production rate, however, doesn’t suffice the modern-day needs. The human population has been growing at an unprecedented pace. Add to that the problem of scarcity of water, excess use of pesticides, and draining of soil. This has pushed scientists and researchers to devise new strategies—finding ways to grow crops within the cities. Although they have been flirting with vertical farming for quite some time, the huge need for manpower to produce the leafy greens has dampened the spirits.
Swegreen—a greentech pioneer in the vertical farming industry—addresses these challenges by combining the latest computer science, world-class technology, and agricultural science to grow high quality and eco-friendly greens in stores, restaurants, and other establishments. With its farming-as-a-service (FaaS), an in-store vertical farming platform, Swegreen has set a new standard for hyper-locally produced food. Swegreen’s FaaS is a physical unit of vertical farming that can be installed in supermarkets and restaurants. “At this crucial juncture where COVID-19 has tested the resilience of cities and societies, it is important to find ways to produce fresh food as close to the consumer as possible,” says Andreas Dahlin, CEO at Swegreen.
The company’s FaaS works in a fully-closed growing environment, which gives the company’s analytics department the ability to get real-time data out of each installed FaaS unit.
The platform lets Swegreen develop optimization processes for their clients, based on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The cultivation process in each unit is controlled and monitored digitally via sensors and cloud-based controlling. “You need not depend on external factors for the growth of crops. No rain, no wind, no sunlight required,” says Andreas.
Thanks to the combination of AI-led data science and plant science, it is now easy for the team at Swegreen to ascertain carbon-di-oxide level, humidity level, irrigation and nutrition level in the system without any physical intervention. Once the team collects these inputs, it starts monitoring every crop throughout all life stages.
The FaaS model ensures every store and restaurant owner is able to offer hyper-local, fresh, and high-quality crops that are nutritious and tasty—at very competitive prices. The model enables supermarkets to offer fresh green food with zero logistics and minimum human intervention, in a plug-and-play format.
Swegreen runs one of the world’s most advanced vertical farms in central Stockholm, which is partly used as a testbed for AI-based research and innovation carried out in collaboration with the Swedish institutions. The company uses this facility to study various aspects such as humidity, lights, nutrition, and others.
Based out of Stockholm, Swegreen has a research and innovation history of more than ten years. Due to its commitment to innovation, Swegreen has been recently awarded several research projects funded by the Swedish Innovation Agency Vinnova, aiming to take AI and machine learning even deeper into the vertical farming industry.
In the future, Swegreen will continue to pursue its mission of producing fresh and nutritious food as closer to the consumer as possible at an affordable price. The company’s hydroponic energy recycling unit (that facilitates the growth of crops without soil) brings Greenhouse Gas emission footprint down to zero. The company will expand this year to several European and global regions.