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The success of outdoor farming lies in the hands of mother nature, which makes it difficult for farmers to predict crop yields. The world is hungry, thus, this week, we are putting a spotlight on indoor farming solutions that are able to feed the global population. 

Problem Statement: Outdoor farming raises many challenges for farmers such as pests, unfavorable weather conditions, and excessive loss of nutrients and water. Additionally, outdoor farming occupies vast amounts of land, potentially damaging it in the process, and crops often have to be transported long distances before they reach the consumers.

Scope for Innovation: Indoor farming represents a solution for all the challenges imposed by outdoor farming. Because farming is taken indoors, all climate conditions are precisely tuned to the needs of the crop at play. By controlling the environment, one can eliminate the risk of pests. Not only the indoor climate is precisely controlled, but also the nutrients and water intake. Moreover, the water transpired by the crops is captured and fed back to the crops. The whole process is performed in containers with stacked layers of crops, thus indoor farming can be easily implemented anywhere in the world. Besides saving vast amounts of land, indoor farming also enables highly localized production.

Founded in 2014 by Maarten Vandecruys and Frederic Bulcaen, our solution of the week, Urban Crop Solutions is an attempt to answer the question that the two founders asked themselves: “How will we feed the world with the mounting pressure of climate change and with a wasteful global food supply chain?” 

In the first five years, the company installed over 25 Container Farms throughout Europe and North-America. After this, the company introduced a new CEO to accompany the startup in a new growth phase. Currently, Urban Crop Solution has developed their next generation plant factory, really focusing on cutting costs to provide ‘just precisely enough’ to their clients.