Evaluation of the use of automated vertical farms technology of iFarm company for Yakutsk

Tasty and healthy vegetables and fruits
Sinet Spark company conducted an assessment of the applicability of automated vertical farms technology for Yakutsk.

A Siberian company from Novosibirsk “iFarm” was involved for this project, it creates a technology for automated cultivation of vegetables, berries and herbs on vertical farms all year round. The project was launched in 2017 with the aim of reducing the time that is spent to transport vegetables and eliminating the chemicals necessary for their storage.

After researching the market of salad crops, greens and cucumbers presented on the shelves of the city of Yakutsk, iFarm representatives compiled a financial model for our city, taking into account electricity, water and heating tariffs. The financial model included basic expenses such as equipment costs, installation and working capital, payroll, rent, etc. With a total investment of more than 26 million rubles, the payback period of the project is 7 years, the profitability index is less than 1, the project is considered to be low-paying.

Based on the results of the study, Sinet Spark employees came to the conclusion that the project using the technologies of automated vertical farms provided by iFarm is not relevant for Yakutia today. But when providing subsidies to compensate for energy costs from the region or co-financing of expenditure obligations, when finding the required premises, for example, in educational organizations, the project may well be recouped.

An increase in the duration of storage of fresh vegetables and fruits, methods of cooling, in which the quality and useful vitamins of products are preserved, are also possible with other technologies. These methods will be investigated for their application in the conditions of the Far North and providing the population of Yakutia with healthy and delicious vegetables and fruits.