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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to collaborate and grow strawberries using Affinor Grower’s vertical farming technology.
While I ‘love’ awkwardly written press releases, this is actually pretty big news. This transnational partnership indicates that not just big business, but also the United States government is watching this industry. Compared to other areas of goverrnment spending, the Agriculture Research Service, the branch of the USDA that’s pushing this project, has a small budget, but the project is in the capable hands of Dr. Fumi Takeda. “The Kearneysville team is anxious to start this research project and notes that vertical farming has received new interest and funding in the past year,” says Dr. Takeda.
Not noted in the press release is Takeda’s deep background in innovating and streamlining harvesting techniques for other types of berries. I’m excited to see how far they can push both automated harvesting and increase hand harvest efficiency.