Author: Cristiano Riciputi
Setting up vertical farms in easily movable containers measuring 20-40 feet. This is the idea of Daniele Bertocchi, agronomist and Greatit.
“The current situation has driven up the cost of unused containers too, but they are still financially sustainable if compared to other solutions. Bluntly put, we set up vertical farms in containers so clients can place them on their land, plug them in and start producing vegetables.”
The potential production is 18 thousand trays a month, but it all depends on the type of vegetable, size of the container, and how much the crop is ‘pushed’.
“Our technological partners are C-Led, Idroterm Serre and Monti, while Sicom and Magli Intermodal service are at the basis of Greatit. We called our containers Demetra. They can be managed remotely: each phase can be regulated via smartphone. Only sowing and harvesting operations need to be carried out on site.”
As for the costs, the Greatit website reads: “Our facility can be customized based on your needs and type of crop. For example, Demetra 4 set up for the cultivation of 44 sq m (one of the most expensive models) costs €96,000 due to the current market costs.”
Can vertical farming represent an alternative for those youngs who are attracted to agriculture but are uncertain about future economic returns?
“Agricultural businesses keep disappearing, Statistics show that only one-third of small companies has a designated successor within the family. Many young people are not willing to make a significant financial investment in a sector that requires long hours and a considerable physical effort for meager returns. We need a new generation of growers to provide the local food we need. Demetra goes in this direction.”