Affinor Growers has announced that the company had entered into a two-year agreement with the UFV to complete strawberry grow trials in the newly designed soil-based, vertical growing tower with the use of the LED lights from Fundamental Lighting.
"The company will install a total of eight towers at the two Surrey Biopod greenhouses, replacing the two larger, first generation, towers from several years ago. The Surrey Biopod facility is a partnership between the University of the Fraser Valley, the John Volken Academy, and the City of Surrey. The Volken Academy provides life and job skills to addicted youth, and the Biopods offer Volken students the opportunity to learn growing and research skills in an urban greenhouse environment.", the team with the company explains.
"The grow trial will consist of four towers in each Biopod greenhouse with half of the towers being used to grow strawberries using conventional substrate and the other half growing in organic substrate. In addition, the Company will install white LED lights in one greenhouse and coloured growing LED lights in the second greenhouse.", the team adds.
"The project will be overseen and managed by Dr. Laila Benkrima. Dr. Benkrima is currently a Horticulture Instructor with the UFV and runs the Surrey Biopod program. Dr. Laila Benkrima holds a Ph.D. in Plant Biology and MSc in Plant Physiology from the University of Paris (France). She has over 25 years of experience in research and development within the horticulture and plant biotechnology industries. She has been responsible for the planning, development and creative problem solving of various projects from plant micropropagation and functional/medicinal crop cultivation to hydroponics and laboratory design."
Mr. Minhas says “This agreement gives us access to fully operational greenhouses and the ability to test our soil tower with the LED white lights and coloured growing lights. The data received from these grow trials will greatly enhance our ability to market and sell these towers."
"This is also a great opportunity for the students at the Volken Academy and at-risk youth to gain hands on experience with vertical farming technology. We are certainly thrilled to be able to participate in the Surrey Biopod project for the next two years and we are pleased to say, we will be donating all eight towers to the Surrey Biopod project at the conclusion of the agreement.”
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