"In conventional NFT channel systems, the spacing is typically based on the final stage of crop growth. As a result, a significant portion of the production area, up to 50%, may remain unused for much of the production cycle," says Nadun Hennayaka, Founder and CEO of GAIA Project Australia.
GAIA Project Australia's AgTech sector was founded in 2021 with the goal of providing technological solutions for vertical farms and greenhouses to drive automation and improve resource use efficiency. Currently, the company is designing a modular channel system for greenhouses producing leafy greens.
The system, which is almost ready for commercial greenhouses, is designed to follow the plant's natural growth cycle and expands in both length and width to ensure that there is no unnecessary free space between plants.
The prototype model
"This modular solution offers a significant increase in crop density, enabling up to 50 mature plants per square meter without the need for transplanting using robotics or human labor. That's a 100% increase compared to traditional greenhouse solutions. The use of AI algorithms enables us to optimize the arrangement of plants within any given space for maximum yield/crop density. Additionally, integration of automation to move the plants and channels as needed," Nadun comments.
A render of the system
Looking to build a demo greenhouse, expand technologies offered
Nadun's vision for GAIA Project Australia is to offer growers a sustainable and profitable solution that produces an average of 50+ mature plants per square meter without the need for expensive alternatives mentioned earlier. The company is planning to build a commercial greenhouse pilot in Australia to showcase its technology and help growers see the benefits of this innovative solution in action.
GAIA Project Australia is currently collaborating with NASA on two separate projects directly and indirectly, as the importance of space use efficiency is perhaps no more important than in space itself.
For more information:
Nadun Hennayaka, Founder and CEO
GAIA Project Australia