Thought Piece

The building blocks for success: scalable, modular agritech solutions

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Edition 2

Modular building isn’t a new concept by any means. The first documented prefabricated home was built in the 1830s by an English carpenter for his son who was moving to Australia. In the 1850s, the infamous Great Exhibition was housed in a ‘Crystal Palace’ capable of being quickly deconstructed, moved and reconstructed on a new site. For agriculture, however, the concept of modularity is something that is only now beginning to develop momentum.

As the world begins to recalibrate following the COVID-19 pandemic, simple, flexible solutions to some of the key challenges raised by the virus look set to take centre stage. In recent months, our global reliance on complex supply chains has been dramatically impacted. This applies across all areas of life, but most crucially to sustaining life and it has particularly affected food supply chains.  

As the full impact of this begins to be digested across the globe, we all need to look to a future that creates independence in each country’s supply chain and delivers sustainable food security. This is a long-term requirement which demands focus and investment now.  

The new wave of agritech innovation can help move this agenda forward effectively, and at the heart of that is finding simple, efficient and effective means through which to work alongside traditional agriculture to shore up supply chain sustainability.  

Vertical farming has a huge role to play in moving this agenda forward. From two Growth Towers to more than 200, IGS’ vertical farming system is one of the world’s first sustainable, modular, scalable and bio-secure indoor plant-based farming platforms, which can be built quickly and efficiently in urban and rural environments. Its modular construction means that it is readily scalable to fit sites of all sizes, optimising the use of space and requiring no arable land.  

Controlled using cloud-based software, the plug-and-play platform offers a secure, controlled, indoor environment, independent of weather and location to provide a sustainable and secure food supply across a range of crops. Using proven project methodology, it has been designed to maximise productivity while minimising energy consumption.

The concept of modular construction may date back many generations, but its processes and applications have perhaps never been better suited than to the world in which we currently find ourselves. It is vital that this global moment of change isn’t allowed to pass by. We need solutions to establishing global food security that are tried and tested, infinitely scalable and that can be tailored to a huge range of climates and environments. Now is the time to drive change, embrace innovation and secure a more sustainable future for food production.

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