Evolve.ag's podcast about what's trending in food and food tech.
Evolve.ag the team at Evolve.ag
Evolve.ag's podcast about what's trending in food and food tech.
Emata is providing loans to African farmers to help them thrive
Emata is a fintech company, based in Uganda, that is providing loans to farmers. While farming represents 80% of the employment in that country, it only makes up only 30% of the economy. It’s extremely hard for farmers to break even–much less invest in their farms. Emata is changing economic circumstances for farmers by providing loans at a much lower interest rate than they are used to and doing it all through WhatsApp. In this episode, I speak to Bram and Lillian about why Emata is making such a big impact–with a 95% repayment rate–and the future of farming in Africa. I hope you enjoy!
Dairy industry veterans bet that the future is cow-free
Dennis and JT Cohlmia have been a part of the dairy industry for over 40 years. Their latest venture, Strive Nutrition, is a pivot in a new direction that removes the cow from the equation. Strive Nutrition uses precision fermentation to create a bio-identical, animal-free whey protein isolate and cow-free milk. While vegan-friendly, this is not another rendition of plant-based milk. Instead, they partnered with Perfect Day and use fermented microflora (instead of cows) to create dairy products (and non-dairy oat and almond milks) supplemented with their animal-free whey protein.
There are lots of positive environmental upsides to creating dairy using precision fermentation. And plenty of nutritional benefits too. Because there are no animals used in the process, the supply chain is not reliant on a farm location and weather; factories can be hyperlocal. There are no methane emissions. And up to 96% less water is used.
Dennis and JT believe this new category of "animal-free dairy" is a crucial part of curbing the environmental impact that factory dairy farming has on the environment. Ready to knock on doors and work through their retirement to make it happen, they believe this is the future of milk.
Strive Nutrition's website: https://striveforbetter.com/
For a great visual on the process of precision fermentation, check this out from Perfect Day: https://perfectday.com/process/
Questions? Comments? Would like more info? Email us at email@example.com.
Is the future of pest control biologics and bees?
Bee Vectoring Technologies (BVT) helps farmers achieve greater yields and fight pests with bees. In this episode, I chatted with founder, Ashish Malik, who wanted to create an agricultural solution that could support feeding the earth's growing population. BVT's technology starts in a 'smart hive', where bees dip their bodies in a non-toxic biological fungicide before going off to do their bee business. Bees pass the fungicide along to the plant 95% more efficiently than farmers' sprays--which means less fungicide is needed in the long run. Their proprietary fungicide technology, is known as a "biologic", or a living organism that can help fight off or deter agricultural pests. "Biologics" have become a recent buzzword in agriculture--even though the technology has actually been around for 20+ years. Enjoy the show!
Why the future of food should be hyperlocal and vertical
In this episode, I interview Craig Ratajczyk, CEO of Crop One--an international vertical farm company. You can find them in grocery stores under the name: FreshBox Farms. We talk about how the controlled environment agriculture industry can positively contribute to a more sustainable, dependable, local, nutritious future of food worldwide. And why serving nearby communities is so important. He shares the practices that Crop One takes to ensure they are not impacting the environment. Fun fact: his background is in global ag and national security--which turns out to be an ideal skillset for the leader of a global vertical farming company. We also discuss a topic near and dear to me--what it will take for more widespread consumer adoption of foods grown in vertical farms. The answer might surprise you. Enjoy the show!
Microdrones that mimic bees and measure plants
In this podcast, I interviewed Siddharth Jadhav, founder and CEO of Polybee--an autonomous microdrone company out of Singapore that is mimicking the work of bees and also taking very precise plant measurements in an effort to help farmers increase their yields. We talk about the critical role of pollination in food security and why Polybee is much more than a pollination as a service company. They are the first scalable drone solution targeting producers in controlled environment agriculture and partnering with seed companies who are looking for faster breeding cycles and fewer resources. In the future, they hope to provide prescriptive insights to their customers and help develop crops that are more climate resistant.
Urban Greens is turning food miles into food steps at the first vertical farm in the Philippines
In this episode, you'll meet Ralph Becker, founder of Urban Greens in Manila. Inspired by plant factories in Japan, a lack of fresh produce in the Philippines, and DIY hydroponics videos on YouTube, Ralph started Urban Greens, the first vertical farm in the Philippines. He is currently building out a warehouse vertical farm from the ground up with proprietary in-house design specifically for the tropics, using local materials and his own IoT.
To be more sustainable, he grows crops without energy-intensive cooling systems. Urban Greens sells produce to individuals, bars, and restaurants. He collaborates with chefs to experiment with new crops like strawberries, fiddlehead fern, and anything with bright Instagrammable flowers. And he is minimizing food miles by setting up mini hydroponic systems in grocery stores too.
One of Ralph's main goals is to help people understand where their food comes from. To do this, he sets up pop-up dinners on the farm--giving patrons a literal farm-to-table culinary experience and morphing the idea of 'food miles' into literal 'food steps.' He even hosts local workshops to help people set up their own vertical farms.
Urban Greens is a model vertical farm attempting to improve the food system in Manila with healthy, fresh produce.
I really enjoyed the recent episode on biological products of nature 🐝 really informative, thank you. So impressed with c47, and all the incredible bees saving our crops!