FarmBoys Design Corp: Feeding the World (with a low carbon footprint)
Visitors to Innovation Place in Saskatoon may have noticed a large white shipping container in the parking lot near Boffins. The FarmBoys team have been working with international partners to create a method of food distribution that will help populations from Northern Saskatchewan to Qatar independently grow and monitor the health of their food.
The modular system of vertical growing capsules can be trucked, shipped and quickly deployed to allow someone to be up and growing within a day. There is no need for pesticides and the system uses between 95-98% less water than the traditional way of growing crops in soil. Users do not need any experience, the system can run off the grid, and the crops can be monitored remotely be an agriculturalist, if required.
“We have created a way to grow food in an efficient and carbon-mindful way to help people have access to fresh, green vegetables,” shares cofounder Chad Fischl. “There are many places in the North where it is extremely expensive to get fresh vegetables and we can help families have access to healthy produce.”
"In Canada, we have a short growing season and we rely on foreign foods (or canning) throughout the winter. Anyone can use our system to plan their produce and grow a variety of fresh food throughout the year,” explains Fischl.
The team are also focusing on sales to the Middle East as there are intense pressures on the food supplies in this area of the world. As Fischl explains, “Food security is a big issue for people in the Middle East. It can be nearly impossible to grow some crops because of heat, sandstorms and intense weather. Greenhouses are not viable as water is scarce and two-thirds of water is used to just cool a greenhouse."
FarmBoys recently hosted a visit from the Qatar Ministry of Agriculture to discuss a recent trade dispute that caused a desperate issue for the food supplies of the country. FarmBoys modular system has the potential to help create a solution for Qatar.
Whether solving the food crisis at home or in the middle East, “Our goal is to contribute global solutions to help feed the world with no carbon footprint, with the rise of our population and change in climate, we all need to work collectively at solutions” smiles Fischl.
Incorporation Date: December 2016
Cofounders: Adrian Lachance, Dan Robinson, Jeff Marchand, and Chad Fischl