Cultivating New Crops To make Farmers Increase Profits
Growing sustainable food should always be made one of the highest priorities for society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought distinct challenges to many sectors of the food supply chain that have reshaped their operations with physical distancing, the use of personal protective gear and equipment modifications – all of which are contributing to rising costs.
Unfortunately, with the current pandemic, access to affordable and nutritious food is a major concern or an ongoing struggle for many Canadian families. Today more than ever, people have become more health conscious with a desire for accessible and reliable home-grown food.
While Canada is one of a small group of countries that could be self-sufficient, we export much of our food and import almost 9%.
We endeavor to seek new solutions to food security and sustainability issues on a small scale for individuals and families that is modular and can grow and be expanded to individual needs.
- Food you grow at home is guaranteed to be fresh
- Homegrown produce does not get recalled
- Commercially grown produce often lacks nutrients
- You control what goes in (and on) what you grow
SMK will design and develop a very cost effective artificial intelligent IoT system which will be used for modular microgreen cultivation units using aeroponic growing techniques.
SMK is primed to take a leadership role through the following initiatives:
1. Develop a modular microgreen cultivation unit using aeroponic growing techniques
- Appropriate sensors and controls for growing various produce and microgreens using built-in control hardware & software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) on a net-worked industrial PC & nonproprietary I/O modules for cost effectiveness and will also further reduce the building cost by modularizing and mass manufacturing.
- A Smart router (Industrial mini PC plus router) that is currently in the market would communicate to our aeroponic controls through wifi to ensure proper water and nutrients for optimal growth
- Our central backend application program (AI) in the IOT server for growing each specific functional plant would control all the modular cultivation units with the help from professional growers for the growing techniques. In this way, our members with little or no agricultural experience, but a passion or need for growing their own food can effectively produce functional or specialty produce like Micro-greens successfully.
2. R&D on optimal growing of various microgreens, vegetables, leafy greens, and herbs
- Work with various groups including a well-established company in Korea who have been working with micro greens for over 10 years and will be forming a joint venture. We will be able to bring their researchers and expert knowledge to Canada and will begin researching the various characteristics of the dozens of varieties of microgreens, herbs and mushrooms to develop the individualized optimal growing techniques for our modular aeroponic cultivation unit AI.
3. Create a Franchised Co-op to supply seeds for our clients
Industry Outlook on Aeroponics
- Aeroponic systems use water, liquid nutrients, and a soilless growing medium to quickly and efficiently grow more colourful, tastier and nutritious produce, nourishing plants with a nutrient laden mist allowing the naked roots to grow faster.
- Aeroponic systems are extremely water efficient and use up to 98% less water than field farming and 40% less than hydroponics.
- Produce can grow up to 3 times faster and yields are more consistent.
- Soilless aeroponics methods cause less pollution and pests.
- Aeroponic systems require skill to operate effectively as nutrient concentrations in water must be maintained along with other precise parameters. Our specialty AI program will autonomously allow amateurs to be a master grower taking care of all the real-time needs of your plants for optimal health.
Health and Food Security
More and more people are looking to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle and are paying more attention to their diets.
During this time of stress, gardening is known to be extremely beneficial and helps with stress relief.
Microgreens have up to 20 times more nutrient content at the seedling stage and is a known functional super food.
Aeroponics is a sustainable and reusable system.
- Requires less water and nutrients go directly to the plant roots and what is not absorbed is cycled through again.
- Requires no sunlight so can be used all year for predictable maximized crop yields.
- Requires no pesticides or soil so lessens our impact on the environment.
Competition and Target Markets
Many units on the market are large and cumbersome, or meant for large commercial production.
Units on the market for consumers are too small for a normal family to really benefit, and take up valuable counter space in your kitchen, or so large and expensive that they would need you to remodel your kitchen as they are as large as your refrigerator or need to be built in to your cupboard space. Ideally, in the future, everyone will be growing their own produce, but it will be many years or decades until house designs change and have spaces prebuilt for this.
Our units will fit anywhere and can become part of any room furnishings or tucked away in a closet or basement.
Our units will also be modular and scalable so you can get the size that is best suited to your needs.
Every square foot of planted microgreen yields around 20 pounds per month (based on 2 x 10-pound harvests monthly)
Multi tiered/ vertical systems take up 90% less space
Growing microgreens aeroponically at home can produce 20 to 25 crop harvests per year greatly reducing your food costs and helping you feed your family a more healthy and nutritious diet.
Microgreen Seed Franchised Co-op
Our customers will need access to a supply of quality non-GMO seeds for their cultivation units.
- These seeds will have been specifically chosen because of their ability to germinate quickly and provide lush greens that you can use within about a week.
- The seeds have been tested and formulated to grow in a shorter time frame so they can be harvested more rapidly
The co-operative concept has evolved into a major method for individuals and small farmers to join together to promote their mutual interests and benefits. Co-operatives have succeeded in numerous functions, especially purchasing, marketing and services, as they have helped their members realize economies of scale, increase revenues, decrease costs and increase profits in ways not available through normal business methods.
Our co-operative principles and practices are supported by the basic principles of franchising for marketing the products produced by the members. One of the greatest strengths of a franchise system is the power of mutual association of the franchisees. Franchising at its best is a partnership which establishes trust, opens communication and accrues benefits to both the franchisor and its franchisees.
SMK Farm, once all R&D on Micro Greens are completed, will supply a turnkey orientated system for growing “Micro Greens” to small scale BC farmers and others who are interested to work together with its company. SMK Farm will provide the turnkey system to its co-op members at cost and then purchase seeds harvested by our members to sell to those using our cultivation units.