Infarm (Netherlands) produces indoor-grown, climate-resilient wheat that can provide high yields and diversify opportunities for the industry.
The company grows wheat on a closed farm without the use of soil, chemical pesticides and less water. The first trials in the business yielded a yield that is 26 times that of open field wheat, equivalent to 1,170 dt/ha per year when the average wheat yield is 45 dt/ha. This production does not depend on external climatic conditions and is thus truly resilient to climate change. This is a major milestone in securing staple food in a controlled environment as climate impacts worsen.
Guy Galonska, CTO and co-founder of Infarm, says: “In order to continue to feed the growing global population, we need to achieve higher yields, which we have now proven is possible for wheat through controlled indoor farming. Our results are significant compared to the average yield of wheat grown in the open field, which is about 4.5 tons per hectare per year and is highly dependent on the weather and time of year. We are confident that wheat can be successfully grown commercially indoors as a climate-resilient alternative. Our record harvest could potentially be increased by another 50% in the coming years with a combination of improved genetics, equipment and optimized growing conditions.”
Erez Galonska, CEO and co-founder of Infarm, continues: “The ability to grow wheat indoors is an important milestone for Infarm and is of great importance for global food security, as wheat is a nutritious but resource-intensive crop that is a major component of the diet in all over the world. Infarm has set itself the challenge of finding new ways to produce food to feed a growing global population, and the results show that we have taken a big step towards that goal.”
Wheat provides most of the world’s population with their daily energy needs and is a significant source of protein, accounting for almost 40% of daily protein intake in some regions. Wheat is grown on a larger area than any other crop, and due to environmental destabilization, yields per hectare are expected to decline. To continue to feed the world’s growing population, wheat yields need to be increased, which is now possible with controlled indoor farming.
Infarm was founded in 2013 and is one of the fastest growing vertical farming companies. In partnership with over 30 of the world’s leading retail chains in 10 countries in North America, Asia and Europe, Infarm’s fresh produce is available in over 1,850 stores worldwide. By 2030, Infarm plans to expand its operations to 20 countries across these three continents and the Middle East. The company’s product catalog consists of more than 75 types of plants, such as herbs, leafy greens, lettuce, microgreens and mushrooms, and will soon include strawberries, peppers, cherry tomatoes and peas. The company’s modular farming systems are highly efficient, capable of growing more than 500,000 plants per year in just 40 square meters. m. In addition to using 95% less land, Infarm technologies require 95% less water than traditional farming methods, and it does not use chemical pesticides.