Agritecture announces the launch of Farm-Planning Software
Agritecture, a global advisory services and technology firm focused on climate-smart agriculture, has announced the launch of its new software. The software aims to provide a data-driven solution to the economic uncertainty of the controlled environment agriculture industry. Founded by Henry Gordon-Smith in 2011, Agritecture hopes for the new software to further the company's mission to accelerate and empower the transition to smarter and more resilient agriculture by reducing the barriers of entry into the commercial farming industry with educational and business-planning resources.
"It will be the world's first farm planning software," said Gordon-Smith. Features of the software will enable users to model indoor vertical, greenhouse, and container farms; compare financial projections; calculate a fair market price for products using a crop pricing algorithm; and understand estimates related to payback period, energy and water use, equipment depreciation, and more. It also works to provide a network of entrepreneurs and industry experts with whom clients can regularly connect and collaborate. "The mission of the platform aims to provide, automate, and expand upon the service we've always provided," he added.
The service he speaks of refers to a company response to a global need for guidance on urban agriculture. Agritecture Consulting has consulted on over 250 urban agriculture projects in over forty countries, primarily helping entrepreneurs with vertical farming feasibility studies, recruiting, and systems design.
"Agritecture refers to the design and construction of buildings or structures for the purpose of growing food or other agricultural products," Gordon-Smith said. The company's vision is a new era where agriculture is economically feasible, resilient to climate change, and powered by data-driven strategies. Agritecture advises all sides of the industry in an effort to build this vision into a reality.
One of the main goals of Agritecture is to increase the efficiency and productivity of agricultural systems by optimizing the use of space, resources, and technology. "For example," Gordon-Smith continued, "a vertical farm may be set up to use hydroponics or other soil-less growing techniques to grow crops in stacked layers, allowing the farm to produce a greater quantity of food in a smaller footprint. Similarly, a greenhouse may use energy-efficient heating and lighting systems, automated irrigation and fertilization, and other technologies to optimize the growing conditions for plants."
The company holds that another critical aspect of Agritecture is sustainability. "Many Agritecture projects aim to minimize the environmental impact of farming by using renewable energy sources, conserving water and other resources, and reducing waste," Gordon-Smith explained, noting how a greenhouse may use solar panels to power its lighting and heating systems or rainwater harvesting to conserve water.
Agritecture aims to catalyze social and economic benefits, particularly in urban areas where access to fresh, locally-grown produce may be limited. By bringing agriculture into the city, Agritecture projects can create new job opportunities and help to support local food systems.
There are many challenges to implementing Agritecture projects, including the high expenses of building and maintaining structures, the need for specialized equipment and expertise, and the risk of pests and diseases. However, with dedicated planning and up-to-date technology, the company believes that Agritecture can be an effective way to increase the efficiency and sustainability of agriculture while also providing social and economic benefits.
"We hope that by developing the new software, we can make these methodologies more accessible and utilizable worldwide," Gordon-Smith maintained, "harnessing an interconnected pool of knowledge and forward-thinkers".
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