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CityFarm Press Release — vertical farming

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【TV2】前线视窗- 四个年轻人的城市农场

《前线视窗》- 四个年轻人的城市农场

[988 FM] 企业起飞 (城市农场 City Farm)

这个星期,988 FM 邀请到了城市农场 City Farm的两位联合创办人 郭廷成和雷俊鸣。

这家城市农场是由4名年轻的朋友一起创办的,短短的时间内已经引起许多人的关注,更获得大企业的青睐,把城市农场的概念带到砂拉越。

访问音频:
企业起飞 - 第88期

[Passion Portraits] Urban Homes Can Now Have Farms

Being a farmer was never part of the plan. Having studied and majored in fields like software engineering and electronics, Jayden and Johanson didn't think they would see their spontaneous hobby and interest in hydroponics grow into a company they now call CityFarm, which they run with another friend, Choon Beng. Their love for planting vegetables led them to realise that there was a greater, deeper global issue that needed addressing. After much trial and error, they eventually grew a platform that now encourages Malaysians to pick up urban farming.

We at Passion Portraits are constantly inspired by the many stories we hear of other passion-driven individuals in our community. In this episode of our Pp Original Series, we would like to celebrate and introduce to you the people behind CityFarm. By sharing these stories, we hope that you too would be encouraged and inspired by their endeavours.

[The Sun Daily] City farmers on a ‘green’ mission

PETALING JAYA: What initially began as a hobby for three engineering graduates became their full time job as city farmers.

Jayden Koay, Looi Choon Beng and Johanson Chew had literally brought farming into the urban landscape when they decided to initiate CityFarm Malaysia last year, a company specialising in indoor and vertical farming.

The Multimedia University graduates, who proudly presented themselves as "city farmers", now have a new mission to embark on — to spread the gospel of "green in the city" to the masses.

"The awareness of vertical farming in Malaysia is still low compared to other countries like Taiwan and Singapore. We need to put effort in educating the public," said Koay.

"To achieve that, we run classes with people as small as primary school, and run courses with those interested with urban farming. We are on a mission to change the mindset of the public," he told theSun during an interview at CityFarm office in Seri Kembangan.

Taking a step into their building, the view of lush greenery took our attention, with variety of vegetables produce were arranged on stacks in a controlled-environment room.

Looi, who was in charge of marketing, said the key advantage of urban farming was its efficiency of producing harvest in a relatively small area. A small farm could even be placed on a window of a small apartment.

Using the technology of UV LED lighting, the plants could further be arranged in stacks, with each product growing on top of another, dramatically increasing the number of produce per sq ft.

The farms, unlike conventional farms, were also not highly dependable on external factors such as weather, thus could achieve over 90% of harvested products.

"Furthermore, urban farming are free from the usage of pesticide and other growth chemicals that could affect our environment and body," Looi, an environment conservation enthusiast, added.

He said city dwellers can actually set up the farm, which requires only a little bit of time — seed germination, transplanting and harvest and the rest can be automated and controlled.

With just RM250 in capital, a new city farmer could start and sustain a farm that could feed a family of four to five people. However, Koay said the cost to maintain a bigger farm could be cheaper if the necessary equipment are readily available domestically.

A starter kit — City Window Farm — could help those interested.

"It is a beginner's kit to grow a single plant. It's small, but you have to start somewhere before becoming big," Koay said.

Original Article: http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2191160

[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/