With significant population growth and urbanization both underway and projected across the globe, the push for urban farming solutions has only intensified. The search for innovative solutions has generated many questions surrounding best agricultural practices and how to build a sustainable urban farm.
Agricultural consulting company Agritecture was developed to address exactly those questions. Agritecture was founded in 2011, when its CEO Henry Gordon-Smith began blogging about urban agriculture and subsequently received numerous inquiries from entrepreneurs looking to start urban farms. Within a few years, Agritecture began to officially offer consulting services and quickly built a portfolio.
Sustainable urban farming solutions
“With a mission to empower impact-driven organizations to develop sustainable urban farming solutions, Agritecture focuses on turning business ideas into practical realities,” says Agritecture’s media strategist, Briana Zagami. The breadth of services offered by Agritecture allows the company to meet the needs of entrepreneurs at various project stages.
Ask Agritecture is the company’s entry-level service through which entrepreneurs can schedule a 30-minute phone call with a consultant to discuss economic and technological aspects of the project and recommend future steps. The company also offers premium consulting services, which are “backed by several years of operational data and a team of experienced growers, agricultural engineers, sustainability managers and marketing experts”, according to Briana. Furthermore, Agritecture uses its feasibility tools to help urban farmers and entrepreneurs obtain real-world financial estimates for a greenhouse or vertical farm project in any location.
Agricultural education is another cornerstone of Agritecture’s mission, which the company achieves through its Commercial Urban Farming course, which presents best practices in six comprehensive lessons complete with short video modules and additional resources. Agritecture also provides free educational content in the form of its blog, podcast and videos.
The most recent addition to Agritecture’s service offerings is the Agritecture Designer, which was launched in April 2020 and is the world’s first digital platform for the planning of urban farms. According to Briana, “the goal was to take our years of experience as leading industry consultants and translate this into a digital platform to help expedite the planning stage and avoid common pitfalls.”
In 2020, Agritecture’s digital audience is now comprised of 100,000 + users around the world. The team has consulted on over 120 projects spanning more than 26 companies. When asked how Agritecture has responded in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Briana explained that “Agritecture reinvented itself in the wake of COVID-19 and offered insights from its learnings to other small businesses and advisory firms that are struggling to find new business. We launched several new online initiatives in April and May to better connect with our audience and saw a nearly 3x increase in inbound consulting requests.”
So how does Agritecture envision the development of urban agriculture? According to Briana, “urban agriculture will continue to grow around the world due to the innovative spirit of farmers and the rising demand for fresh, sustainably-grown products.” With the development of supportive policies and standards in key cities, Agritecture expects that urban agriculture will only continue to grow and push past its niche status.
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