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CityFarm Press Release — urban farming

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[BFM 89.9] A REAL FARM IN A CONCRETE JUNGLE

Looi Choon Beng | Johanson Chew Jo Han | Jayden Koay Teng Seong, City Farm Malaysia
Going against the paradigm that urban areas are not suitable for growing good greens, an organization known as CityFarm Malaysia aims to teach and equip aspiring farmers on how to control their environment from within the city in order to create a more sustainable method of food production. We speak to CityFarm Malaysia on what it takes to grow a successful vege-based business from the heart of a concrete jungle.

Podcast: 

[Vulcan Post] This Startup Wants M'sian Urbanites To Get Down And Dirty With Indoor Farming

The idea of farming, even just growing vegetables to feed your own family is seen as something that is done in the countryside by humble farmers and to some urbanites, embodies unrewarding physical labour.

This is the stigma that CityFarm team Jayden Koay, Johanson Chew and Looi Choon Beng are fighting to dispel in their startup journey.

Johanson was the first among the team to wet his toes in urban farming, but eventually all three of them were building their own farms in 2015.

“Initially, there was a challenge where it was difficult to find hydroponics equipment and supplies,” said Jayden. “This triggered us to form an entity to help all urban farming enthusiasts.”

“We soon realised that there is a bigger purpose behind urban farming. Soon there will be food source crisis due to rising population, pollution and climate change.”

Now aware of the environmental impact that urban farming could have in helping the populations in the future, the team were determined to take action. So over one casual teh tarik session between the three friends and urban farmers, they decided to join forces and form an urban farming business, which led to CityFarm’s launch in July last year.

Urban farming technology, especially Hydroponics (the process of growing plants without soil, usually in water) is not a new concept to Malaysia from an agricultural standpoint, but what sets CityFarm apart as an urban farming concept is that they are making it convenient for the individual layman to start growing their own crops indoors.

Rising Populations Pose A Starvation Danger

Projected world population (Source: Worldometers.info)

It is hard to imagine this now in an era where obesity is an issue inflicting more than just first world countries, but as the population continues to grow exponentially over the years, current agricultural practices might not be enough to supply food for everyone.

The world population is projected to grow to 9.7 billion by 2050, and in Malaysia, 60% of the population will be living in urban areas, and will continue to rise with growth and rapid urbanisation. Cities grow ever-packed with people, and space is becoming an ever valuable commodity.

An urban farming setup (Image credit: CityFarm)

According to Cityfarm, “80% of cultivated land is already in use. Moreover, extreme weather patterns and devastated crops create higher food prices, and consumers become more conscious on how their foods are produced now.”

This is where urban agriculture comes in, to utilise the ever-valuable space.

“We are seeing increasing interest of the market in this field.” said Johanson. “In light of a recently banned pesticide found in local vegetables and flooding, the public is getting more health and environmentally conscious. Urbanisation is inevitable and we estimate interest in urban farming will keep going up. We intend keep this trend going by studying strategies used other countries where urban farming is more mature like US and Japan.”

How CityFarm Works

About CityFarm.

CityFarm’s Offerings

A CityFarm beginner’s window kit for RM13.90.

“Urban farming is still considered as infant stage in Malaysia where market adoption rate will be relatively low due to low awareness. Hence, we have series of go-to-market strategies that focus on public awareness, e.g. classes for students and public and exhibitions.” said Looi Choon Beng.

For those who are interested in picking up urban farming, the listing of products available on the CityFarm website may seem daunting for the beginner. The team understands that this is a budding concept in Malaysia and offers classes to help Malaysians pick up the hobby.

Currently available is a hydroponics farming course with a free farm set for RM349.90, but for any corporates or even individuals who want to see how its done, CityFarm offers a tour of their farm, which, according to Johanson, “is where we give our customers tours and see our product in use”.

And while CityFarm is not yet a year into launch, they are currently into rapid expansion mode which, according to Johanson, refers to:

  • Efforts on public awareness (classes and exhibitions)
  • Enrichment of product catalog (new products)
  • Partnership with developers on eco projects
  • Build and operate farm with strategic partners
  • Physical store expansion

So since urban farming, is as the team describes, “in its infancy in Malaysia,” how are they doing in terms of sales? To this, Looi Choon Beng says that “Our SEO and SEM has been very successful so far. The overwhelming majority of conversions are coming from these channels and we are seeing on average a 20% increase in revenue every month since we started.”

CityFarm is not an SME exactly, but the team has big ideas to help Malaysia catch up with first-world countries like Japan and USA. Getting Malaysians to pick up a new habit such as this might be tough for the team, so they’re expending a lot of effort into public education to increase the absorption rate of urban farming among the locals.

Original Article: https://vulcanpost.com/603482/cityfarm-urban-farm-malaysia-kits/

[Metropolitan Home] City Farming

Thanks Metropolitan Home (Malaysia Edition 6) for featuring us to promote #urbanfarming 🌱🌳🌲
Join us, be a #CityFarmer and grow your own food

[e27] 57 rising Asian startups

The startup paradigm is not only changing our economies and influencing work culture, it is also increasingly transforming our daily lives. While global Entrepreneurship is at an all-time high, the interactions between regional ecosystems is still limited.

If you asked the average French startup founder to name a Chinese unicorn they probably couldn’t (although to be fair the name Didi Chuxing did filter through to US/Europe since Uber’s defeat in China) and definitely couldn’t, if you asked them the same question about Singapore. Conversely, the average Singaporean entrepreneur wouldn’t be able to name a French Unicorn (The country and the city both have 2, despite France having 12 times the population of Singapore).

While being an expert on unicorns isn’t much help to most entrepreneurs, it illustrates the underlying problem: startup ecosystems are thriving all around the globe with little or no communication between them.

We decided to take action, and are excited to announce that e27 and Startup Trackerare joining forces! From now on, e27 data can be found on Startup Tracker alongside Crunchbase, Product Hunt, and many others.

To celebrate, we put together a list of 57 startups from the 19 largest countries of the South and East of Asia you should keep an eye on (North Korea was skipped due to lack of available data).

Malaysia

Emerging | Population ~31M

Image from f11photo / 123RF

123RF – One of the world’s largest digital stock agency

CityFarm – Hydroponic technology that allows soil-less farming in urban centers.

ServisHero – An on-demand services marketplace where you can find and hire trusted service providers for your home and office needs.

Original Article: https://e27.co/57-rising-asian-startups-20170216/

 

[e27] 7 Asian startups putting the spotlight on agriculture

For a specie that relies on crops for a large portion of their food, humans have not really been that great at developing agriculture. The growth rates of agricultural production and crop yields have slowed the past few years, and while that may be attributed the declining food needs of a declining global population, it should also be taken into account that almost 800 million people are undernourished.

With Asia supporting the food needs of 60 percent of the global population in roughly 23 percent of the world’s agricultural land, and with volatile climate changes,  land constraints due to urbanisation, and a growing population coming into play, Asia needs technology to sustain agricultural growth.

While agritech in Asia is young, it is growing, and several startups in Asia are now directing their eyes on tackling agriculture problems from sustainable crop management, increasing yield, and even financing. Here are a few startups putting agriculture in the general public’s viewfinder:

Build your own farm with Cityfarm

We bring the farm to the city

The Malaysia-based Cityfarm launched in 2016 with the aim of creating self-sustaining food supplies in the cities. The company uses Hydroponics technology, allowing soil-less farming in urban centers, and launched a 450 sq ft indoor vertical show farm with controlled environment capable of producing 2000 heads of lettuce monthly. Cityfarm distributes kits and supplies for indoor farming as well as offers courses for beginners

Original Article: https://e27.co/7-agritech-startups-asia/

[aiFM] 爱FM访问:都市农场的廷成与俊鸣

爱FM访问:都市农场的廷成与俊鸣

Podcast:
https://soundcloud.com/user-434519581/sets/fm-1