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Dutch expertise group AAB increases focus on new markets:

The high-end approach towards indoor cultivation

The market for indoor cultivation systems is evolving fast, especially now that the regulated cultivation of medical marijuana in North America has come around the corner. Dutch horticulture consultancy firm AAB is therefore translating its expertise in high-end indoor horticulture cultivation 

AAB is known as an internationally active horticulture consultancy company that has been involved in several impressive projects in the field of indoor growing. By offering expert knowledge, sharing expertise and providing solution-focused advice, the company has been responsible for the realization of several impressive indoor cultivation concepts at breeding companies and Dutch propagators. 

Richard Groenewegen, Technical Project Manager at AAB, explained that the fast-growing market for indoor cultivation is full of challenges and opportunities. "While it is a relatively new industry, you see that projects are getting larger and more complex. With the experience that we have from several technically advanced horticulture projects, we are now looking at a whole new market in which we believe our solutions and approach can make a difference."

That experience comes from projects realized in industries like plant breeding, in-vitro propagation and others. "These projects require high standards related to phytosanitary aspects, product quality and safety. Indoor farming allows you to meet these high standards and lets you implement more efficiency in terms of climate and energy at the same time."

AAB has been closely following indoor cultivation related developments in North America. "It is a hot topic, not only for the multilayer cultivation of leafy greens, but especially for the regulated cultivation of cannabis. These growers are transforming existing warehouses and other kinds of property into cultivation spaces, with many challenges as a result. A lot of improvement can be realized here", said Robert Heikens, project manager at AAB.

According to him, a more high end approach will be required to make this industry more efficient and sustainable in the future. "While often associated with higher investments and electricity costs than greenhouse production, indoor cultivation of marijuana in a fully closed environment can definitely become more feasible. The main advantages are related to full control of climate and odor, but also to a more consistent production, and homogeneous quality can be achieved as external weather factors are excluded. Additional benefits are higher CO2 levels plus better control of light, humidity and pests and diseases. The latter is a very important issue, as marijuana cultivation is subject to strict regulations and enforcement related to pesticide usage."

"Indoor growing can indeed be feasible, but you will need to take advantage of the right expertise and knowledge to create a solution that makes use of fit-for-purpose technology", Groenewegen added. "We have a lot of experience in realizing high tech tissue culture labs and in-vitro labs. As other horticulture processes like extended propagation of starting material is moving towards indoor growing too, we are examining the latest technologies and innovations to improve quality and production. 

Currently AAB is involved in several high end cannabis projects in the U.S. and Canada. Heikens confirms that interesting developments are taking place. "This industry is so new that there is not one company with the same approach. Everyone has their own view on how things can and should be done. We are analyzing the market, cultivation processes, and are eager to introduce expertise and innovation to set new standards that will make the industry more efficient and sustainable."