Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Cargill partners with vertical farming pioneer for cocoa production research

Cargill has entered a multi-year research agreement with vertical farming pioneer AeroFarms to improve cocoa bean yields and developing more climate-resilient farming practices.

This research collaboration brings together AeroFarms’ expertise in controlled environment agriculture, with Cargill’s extensive knowledge of cocoa agronomy and production practices.

Together, the two organizations will experiment with different indoor growing technologies including aeroponics and hydroponics, light, carbon dioxide, irrigation, nutrition, plant space and pruning to identify the optimal conditions for cocoa tree growth.

These findings will yield new insights, targeting factors such as faster tree growth and greater yields, accelerated development of varieties with enhanced pest and disease resistance, and unlocking the cocoa bean’s full flavour and colour potential. These outcomes will help secure the future supply of cocoa beans in the face of climate change.

“Through partnerships with research institutes, universities and innovative companies like AeroFarms, we are collaborating across sectors in bold experiments to bring greater productivity and resiliency to traditional cocoa farming operations,” said Niels Boetje, MD of Cargill Cocoa Europe.

“We look forward to sharing our findings with the farmer cooperatives in our cocoa supply chain to help ensure a thriving cocoa sector for generations to come.”

David Rosenberg, co-founder & CEO of AeroFarms.  “We have grown over 550 different crops, and we are excited to be working on another project with them, this time focused on cocoa. At AeroFarms we think of our proprietary technology as a platform to optimise plant biology, genetics, mechanical systems, operational systems, environmental systems and digital controls, data capture and analytics.

“Genetics and speed breeding is one of the verticals where we focus. Applying our platform to optimize cocoa growing is one way that AeroFarms can have a broader positive impact on the world.”

Initial exploratory work has already begun at AeroFarms global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, and will soon expand to the company’s state-of-the-art AeroFarms AgX Research & Development indoor vertical farm in Abu Dhabi, UAE, which is slated to open in early 2022.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.
















Latest news

Related news

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close