For years now indoor agriculture has been a big deal overseas, but it has yet to gain popularity in New Zealand.
The severe weather effects of climate change are a big driver of the move to growing crops under cover.
Kiwi ag-tech company Autogrow is breaking ground in the industry, which CEO Darryn Keiller says is “20 years in the past”.
"Globally it's surprising that they're operating on these old industrial control type technologies that have been around for 50 or 60 years,” he told RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange.
“There has been no exploration around the cloud, software as a service, data or analytics... [the industry] was sort of sitting in a bubble."
That's where Mr Keiller has seized the opportunity to offer all those services by creating a new market.
Autogrow monitors several key factors including;
- Root Zone - monitoring the water and nutrient uptake.
- Environment - monitoring/controlling temperature, humidity, solar radiation levels, etc.
- Circadian Rhythm
Autogrow also offers the first ever 'talking indoor automation'.
The software uses sophisticated cameras that provide solid data on a plants health - including its breathing and sleeping patterns which farmers have previously only been able to guess at.
Watch the full interview with Darryn Keiller above.