Climate change is driving substantial scarcity and strains in global food supply. As this accelerates in the coming years, we need to find ways to scale efficient growing solutions that lighten the footprint of agriculture. Towards safer, more reliable and climate-resilient food production, greenhouse agriculture produces up to 15 times higher yields and uses up to 20 times less water, while reducing pollution and use of land. However, while the global demand for greenhouse agriculture is rising, its growth is hindered by the high dependency on, and the growing shortage of, growers to operate these facilities.
Amsterdam-based agtech startup Source.ag has raised $10 million funding to enable more greenhouse growers to operate more farms more efficiently. The seed round was led by Acre Venture Partners with participation from MIT-affiliated E14 Fund, Astanor Ventures, and growers Agro Care, Rainbow Growers and Harvest House Cooperative.
The funding will be used to accelerate access to fresh fruit and vegetables with AI powered greenhouses and boost product development to expand commercial collaborations. The agtech firm has partnered with Dutch growers, including Agro Care, one of the world’s largest tomato growers, to roll out the first version of the product.
Talking about how the startup will deliver more healthy food to more people without breaking our planetary boundaries, Rien Kamman, CEO and co-founder, Source.ag said: “By combining plant models with machine learning techniques, we can simulate crop development in any environment. Our technology provides growers with advice on the optimal cultivation strategy and support to realise it.”
Lucas Mann, managing partner at Acre said: “Greenhouse agriculture is a proven and viable solution, but without innovation, demand will be impossible to meet. Source.ag can play a vital role in driving its global scalability.”