Ahead of the virtual Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit, the organizers caught up with Marinus Luiten, Business Developer Indoor Growing at Priva about scaling up indoor and urban farming systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
What role can urban and indoor farming play in delivering greater sustainability and resilience to Asia’s urban food systems, especially post-Covid?
"We believe indoor farming plays an important role in the sustainable food production of the future. Indoor farming will not replace traditional agriculture or in most cases even high-tech greenhouses. But together with a mix of novel technology, it will contribute to making the food chain more sustainable, resilient and cost-effective.
"The world population is growing rapidly. With a growing attention for healthy living, consumers demand a healthy environment and access to safe and nutritious food. Climate change affects our surroundings and threatens our health and safety needs. We need to take action on problems such as nitrogen emissions and freshwater shortage. At the same time, a lack of skilled workers means we need to tackle these challenges in a different way. These trends create a bigger demand for food, produced locally, safe and fresh, as sustainable as possible. This asks for effective and efficient production of food in controlled environment agriculture. For growers as well as investors, this is a big opportunity to scale up your business and increase your market share. But with fewer technically skilled growers available to run your operations, this calls for an increased level of automation and a deeper understanding of the market."