Central regions | Technology & innovation

With new technology, strawberries even in winter

26 Jan '22
At the first commercial iFarm Berries farm built in Novosibirsk, the strawberry harvest is nearing completion. Thanks to modern techniques, the sweet berry can be grown locally and all year round without the use of pesticides.

Over 4,000 strawberry bushes grow on the 550 m² farm. Used cassette seedlings heavy tray with a closed root system and a fixed number of planted peduncles. The plant growth cycle (the period from vegetation to fruiting) depends on the selected variety and can range from three months to six months. From one seat, you can collect up to 2.4 kg of strawberries per year.
The most important factor limiting the development of vertical farming in the world has become a narrow range of crops for which growing technologies have been developed. iFarm Berries brings us closer to the agriculture of the future, which will be dominated by high technology, said Sofya Romashenko, Project Manager of the Biomedical Technology Cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation.
iFarm Berries is an industrial cultivation technology strawberries on closed farms. An important advantage is the vertical system of tiers: it allows you to save space and place farms within the city, equipping workshops or warehouses for production. Technological processes are controlled by the Growtune IT platform: with the help of it, microclimate control and work of personnel, planting planning, and monitoring of the state of plants are carried out automatically.

Strawberries are pollinated naturally during the flowering period - for this, farms are equipped with hives with bumblebees. The Brix level (sugar content in an aqueous solution) of the grown berry is more than 10 degrees: this indicator indicates that the strawberry is sweet.
There is a growing demand worldwide for sustainable cultivation of edible plants in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Lettuce vertical farms are currently the most common, but we are seeing an increase in interest in locally grown strawberries and vegetables indoors. This trend is also confirmed by analytical market research, commented co-founder and president of iFarm Alexander Lyskovsky.
The iFarm Berries technology has managed to interest not only Russian entrepreneurs: a strawberry laboratory is already being built in Germany together with one of the largest local agricultural producers.

The innovative technology of iFarm Berries is based on the method of low-volume hydroponics using inert substrates (peat, coconut flakes, mineral wool) - it allows the plant's root system to maintain an optimal water regime, breathe and develop. Plants are fed with drip irrigation.

The introduction of iFarm Berries technology gives greenhouse farms, restaurants, holdings and suppliers of fresh products the opportunity to increase production capacity and expand the range by launching year-round strawberry production. Soon strawberry farms may appear in several other cities of Russia - Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and Moscow.
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