DLG and Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) to enter cooperation

Both organizations plan specialized strategic partnership globally in the field of indoor and vertical farming.

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(DLG). The Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) and the DLG (German Agricultural Society) are planning to enter a strategic partnership to jointly promote the field of indoor and vertical farming, both in Germany and worldwide. To this end, joint platforms for knowledge exchange as well as an industry network will be created. Common projects will further foster this relationship.

The terms urban farming, vertical farming, indoor farming or plant factories may differ in the detail, but the focus remains the same: production of plant-based food in urban spaces, with the associated limited space and partially closed systems. The production in these conditions is more intensive, as with less space, environmental influences need to be precisely controlled. At the same time, the use of water, nutrients and plant protection shall be reduced or sometimes – as in the case of plant protection – completely eliminated. This is only possible if the plants are isolated from pathogens and pests. For example, some systems are hermetically sealed to prevent the entry of undesirable substances. This also means that air supply, water circulation and even control of illumination must be technically regulated and managed.

“AVF’s goal is to promote sustainable growth and development within the international vertical farming industry and community. The AVF promotes this through research projects, co-operations, events and the establishment of a network of companies, experts and research institutions that is actively involved in the vertical farming industry. With the DLG as an internationally active professional organization and organizer of leading trade fairs and conferences, we are gaining a partner that reinforces the contents and strategies of vertical farming in international agricultural networks and promotes new platforms and channels of professional communication with agricultural practitioners,” says Christine Zimmermann-Lössl, Chairwoman of the AVF, in welcoming the planned cooperation between the two professional organizations.

“The production of plant-based foods in urban areas represents a global growth market. In Asia in particular, where urbanization is progressing faster and more intensively than in Europe, such farms are already economically viable. In Europe, especially in Germany, vertical farming practices are still in their infancy. However, Germany is at the forefront of research and is accompanying the trend toward indoor production of specialty crops away from agricultural land. After all, the latter is limited and continues to decline through alternative use. The DLG, together with its professional partner the Association for Vertical Farming, needs to focus on the future,” says Tobias Eichberg, Managing Director of DLG’s Exhibitions Department, in describing the market prospects.

Networks, information, events

In addition to creating platforms and networks for joint exchange, one strategic area of the cooperation will be to produce regular technical publications and conduct surveys among farmers on current knowledge as well as their perspectives on indoor and vertical farming, as emphasized by both partners. They also plan to jointly develop events as part of existing and new projects. These include the AGRITECHNICA ASIA and HORTI ASIA events in Bangkok, Thailand, the International Vertical Farming & Food System Conference in Munich, Germany, as well as other new digital and in-person event formats.

First joint event planned

As part of AGRITECHNICA ASIA/HORTI ASIA digital talks, a first joint AVF and DLG event on “Trends and challenges for Indoor Farming in Asia” is planned for July 29. For more information, visit www.agritechnica-asia.com/digital-connect

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