Imagine selling the crops grown in your greenhouse for $700 per kg. Sounds good right? It is the actual price of vanilla and it is possible to grow this in a greenhouse. Israeli greenhouse manufacturer Azrom wants to help growers enter this business and offers a complete package including technical and market guidance, as greenhouse-grown vanilla is a new product that needs to find its way into the market.
A traditional vanilla cultivation has changed its face in recent years. "The world's growing centers (mainly in forests in Madagascar and Indonesia) have been suffering from global climate change in recent years and there is a huge shortage of vanilla for the food, perfume, and aromatherapy industries," says Zviki Porat with Azrom. The price has risen dramatically and keeps rising. The company has identified this trend and in the last two years has researched the agro-technical needs required for growing vanilla in greenhouse. "This can significantly shorten the growing period and bring the farmer to high commercial results."
He calculates that the price of vanilla today is around $700 per 1 kg. "There is no doubt at all that this is one of the most expensive crops sold in global markets and with the help of growers who already do this in the greenhouse, we learned the exact needs of Vanilla while shortening the growing time by about 50% of the time growing in traditional growth centers," Zviki shows. "When we use this knowledge to design a facility, it is expected to have yield of 10 tons per hectare per year (dried Vanilla). Of course, as a new product, it will take time to produce vanilla that can be sold. Still we expect a return on investment within 5 years."
This return on investment is of course of high importance for the success of a project, and especially with a new product like greenhouse-grown vanilla. "Many talks about medical cannabis and the expected income from its successful cultivation but forget how difficult it is to get there", Zviki adds. "In Vanilla on the other hand, due to its end uses, an entrepreneur does not have to involve the regulator, the police, the health ministries, and there is no need for such heavy security. As a result, the initial investment is also less heavy, the current expenses are smaller and of course the risk in the investment decreases."
Since they believe in this cultivation and want to help develop this market, they developed a complete package for growers and investors which includes both technical and business support, starting with a business feasibility study. The package also includes the agro-technical design specially adapted to vanilla, the supply and construction of a turnkey project of greenhouses and related equipment inside the greenhouses and the supply of vanilla seedlings. In order to make the cultivation a success, it also provides tight agronomic guidance and consultation in the post-harvest process, the planning of a drying and packaging facility. And once the produce is ready, the package helps in getting it to the market with the offering of business connection to the end users of vanilla products.
"As part of our DNA in the past 6 decades in which Azrom has existed, is always looking for innovative directions to develop and bring applicable solutions that do not exist in the industry in which it is a leading player. As with medical cannabis in recent years, now with Vanilla we aspire to be a pioneer and market leader," Zviki concludes.