The Future of Agriculture: Small Scale, (Almost) No Land
Note: Alesca Life 40ft weather-proof shipping container system in Beijing, China producing arugula, basil, kale, lettuce, wheatgrass
Conventional wisdom would dictate that bigger is better, especially when it comes to commercial scale agriculture. Bigger land, bigger tractors, bigger inputs delivering bigger yields, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case as global climates become increasingly unpredictable, but more importantly, at what cost to our health and environment are we perpetuating this archaic notion?
Alesca Life Technologies was founded in 2013 on the core principle that smaller, modular food production systems can grow fruits and vegetables more reliably, cost-effectively, and with minimal environmental impact, all while generating superior returns on investment and reducing up front capital risk.
Last month, Alesca Life launched turnkey farming solutions that enable anyone anywhere to grow the safest, healthiest and freshest produce. Their three hardware form factors – shipping container-based weather-proof commercial scale system, hotel and restaurant on-site production system, family in-home production system – allow food production at any scale and coupled with one of the most sophisticated operational management mobile apps and custom control automation, farming has never been more data-driven or efficient. Their patent pending container system has been delivering industry leading resource savings: 20x water/fertilizer efficiency and 100x land efficiency versus traditional agriculture with no pesticides, chemical additives or GMO required.
Note: Alesca Life shipping container system capable of producing 30-50kg of leafy greens and 20-40kg of microgreens every week
Over the past two years, Alesca Life worked with the best in controlled environment agriculture and plant science to fine tune the hardware, software and automation into the most durable, robust and user-friendly package. The result is a system that can be managed by a single operator in under 15 hours a week to produce 30-50kg of highly perishable leafy greens and high-end herbs or 20-40kg of microgreens.
As an added benefit, the shipping container system can be made using second-hand, refurbished containers, which allows the outer structure to be sourced relatively easily and manufactured more sustainably.
Pre-orders for Alesca Life’s shipping container system have already commenced with strong interest coming from the US, Middle East, Europe and North Asia. The hotel and restaurant on-site production system was recently sold to their commercial launch partner, Swire Hotels, and other 5 star establishments in the hospitality and health/wellness sector have requested for systems to be installed later this year.
Note: Alesca Life hotel and restaurant on-site production system installed in Colibri Cafe operated by Swire Hotels
Also, given that Alesca Life’s systems are capable of growing out-of-season and hard-to-procure products, this has attracted the attention of commercial partners in the food processing and food distribution/retailer space. The company recently worked with a high-end juice OEM to create a custom wheatgrass-based health drink product and discussed a potential supplier engagement with one of the biggest food retailers in the world.
Note: Alesca Life wheatgrass-based health juice showcased at the Belong Forum on Sustainable Development in Beijing, China
Urbanization and global climate change are accelerating at alarming rates and water is quickly becoming the new oil. New innovations to address the inefficiencies in the agricultural supply chain need to be implemented soon and at scale. The time to disrupt one of the most heavily subsidized and uncompetitive markets is now.
Alesca Life’s food production systems can immediately tackle the most pressing issues of resource and land use and labor and logistics needs. The technology is available and scalable, and the company is looking for government policy makers, academic institutions, technology distribution partners, and strategic and financial investors to deliver and service their products throughout the world.