This past week I received some excellent questions regarding the 2015 International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture, which for social media purposes we will also be using #ICCEA2015.
First question – What is the purpose for ICCEA2015?
This conference was designed to tackle and openly discuss the science as well as the understanding of the current technologies behind growing crops in a controlled environment.
As most of us know, there is no shortage of ideas or inspiration needed to find an answer to the often posed question: “How do we feed 9 billion people by 2050?”
And, we would probably all agree that there are already many growers, farmers, investors, inventors and innovators out there who are today trying to figure out how to grow a wide variety crops in greenhouses, vertical farms, plant factories and city farms.
According to the stakeholders of the ICCEA, what has been missing is a discussion that connects today’s leading researchers and scientist with the farmers of tomorrow unlocking what is already known about plant production and how that knowledge can be put to work today in an innovative fashion. But, the ICCEA does not stop there. It will also set-out to create a platform to question today’s understand of the science and hopefully push the boundaries helping to unlock new ideas and opportunities.
Based on the leadership and inspiration of Dr. Kozai (Chiba University in Japan), the Congress will focus on the key variables to creating a successful controlled environment ag operation. Those are:
- Growing Systems
- Fertilization and Nutrients
- Environment and Control Systems.
- Energy and Water
(The one topic noticeably missing is genetics/seed technology. This might be added if the ICCEA can find the right speaker.)
Second question – Who should attend?
I my opinion, everyone whom is interested in participating in the future of greenhouse growing or vertical farming should attend. This includes: researchers, industry professionals, inventors, growers and farmers.
In order for this segment of agriculture and horticulture to succeed we will need to come together as one. The challenges and obstacles confronting those planning to create a successful controlled environment agriculture facility are enormous. Success will only be found if there is some degree of cooperation within the industry. This starts with the researchers and with seed companies, moves to the fertilizer and technology providers, and then finally to the growers themselves. To build these new systems we will need to bring the expertise of everyone together as in my opinion no one has the resources to do it alone.
(For those interested in participating by exhibiting technologies and ideas, please follow this link.)