Since 2010, FoodVentures has developed several greenhouse projects in emerging countries. Besides Ukraine, Turkey and Japan they recently installed two facilities in Georgia: one small-scale project in Khobi (3400 m2) and one large-scale horticultural project in Samtredia (1.4 ha). With an annual growth of 5 to 7 percent, Georgia has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. However, the horticultural industry is still in an initial stage where mainly outdated technology is used in small-scale greenhouses. By supporting local horticultural entrepreneurs in their investment planning and decision making, FoodVentures provides great opportunities to boost horticultural development.
The large-scale greenhouse project in Samtredia opened in Dec. 2014 and makes use of geothermal energy for heating. In Georgia this is unique and therefore this greenhouse also serves as a demonstration project to teach local growers efficient production methods by automation. This greenhouse aims to produce 15,000 heads of lettuce per week. For this project, FoodVentures needed an automation system that efficiently controls all climate, irrigation and energy processes in the greenhouse in order to meet their production goals.
In Khobi, a plastic greenhouse was built in 2011 where cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce are cultivated. At this greenhouse there was substantial need for modernization, such as cultivation on substrate instead of soil to enhance growing conditions. FoodVentures contacted Hoogendoorn because they were looking for an affordable yet effective automation solution that could help them manage and control irrigation and climate.
Solution & Results
To meet their goals and control all processes in the Samtredia greenhouse such as climate, irrigation and energy, FoodVentures chose the most advanced process computer on the market, the Hoogendoorn iSii. For the Khobi greenhouse, FoodVentures chose the iSii compact climate and irrigation system.
Dirk Aleven, a FoodVentures Partner stated: “We are happy to work with Hoogendoorn in this new region. We opened our first greenhouse in Georgia last year, and we are the first to run a modern greenhouse in that area. Hoogendoorn supported us with their knowledge and flexibility to achieve our goals in Georgia.”