“We’re committed to making strawberry vertical farming accessible to a wider audience by investing in low-cost systems and R&D. This focus will enable more individuals and businesses to take advantage of the benefits of vertical farming and contribute to a more sustainable food production ecosystem,” says Dongho Park, Founder and CEO of PARUS.
PARUS, a Korean supplier of indoor growing solutions, has been focusing on strawberry production ever since 2003. By leveraging over 20 years of experience in LED grow lights and vertical farm research, production, and supply, PARUS aims to make strawberry production more sustainable and efficient.
PARUS continuously conducts R&D trials to identify which strawberry varieties are most suiting for vertical farms. “This long-term commitment involves projects that take about a year to determine the compatibility of a specific variety. In response to customer demand, we’re also developing ‘AI growers’. These ‘growers’ are capable of operating vertical farms without human intervention, replacing the need for professional growers."
As Dongho explains, the company offers a comprehensive system for strawberry vertical farms. Included with the system comes the design, consultation, product manufacturing, installation, and operation. PARUS’ expertise spans the selection of strawberry varieties tailored to different countries and regions. On top of that, they also develop splicing systems and strategies to efficiently sell the harvested strawberries once production has started.
Growing potential in Southeast Asia
Standardized installation and operation manuals are available for distribution worldwide. Typically in Southeast Asia, strawberries are only available during the winter time, as Dongho points out. Yet, the company is seeing a growing interest in vertical farms for the year-round production of strawberries. “That’s why we see great potential in this market, especially in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, where strawberries are gaining popularity.”
As Dongho likes to see it, PARUS better understands and converges various technologies than others. “Our expertise in vertical farms accumulated over two decades, including LED lighting and hydroponics. Success in strawberry vertical farming relies on the integration of environmental control, cultivation technology, operation, and management. We can offer all of the above.”
The root growth of NFT hydroponic cultivation in a strawberry vertical farm
In addition to its focus on strawberry production, PARUS is exploring opportunities to extend its expertise and technology to other high-value crops, such as beer hops. By collaborating with research institutes, universities, and industry partners, the company aims to lead the innovation and advancement of vertical farming technology for hops.