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Modular Urban Farms: Safe, plentiful, Delicious Food in any Setting

Modular Urban Farms: Safe, plentiful, Delicious Food in any Setting

“I dream of a world where everyone becomes a farmer.”  

Even in the deserts of the Middle East and on Mars, there are people who dream of vegetable gardens. This is the story of Nsing, a start-up armed with advanced agricultural services with mobile service and Internet of Things (IoT) technology applied.  

Nsing is a company that leads innovation in the agri-food market with IT and data. It was established in 2014 with the vision of combining agriculture, which is most affected by the environment, with Internet technology that removes the constraints of time and space, so that you can experience clean and safe food.  

Immediately after its establishment, it was selected as one of Asia's Top 10 Startups at Asiabit 2014, Asia's largest startup conference. The company's representative work is called 'Planty Cube', a container modular farm.  

Nsing's Planty Cube is a modular farm that grows crops in 40-foot containers. Varieties and production can be flexibly managed according to demand. Since temperature and nutrition are controlled through IT, crops can be harvested up to 13 times a year. It doesn’t use soil but rather a culture medium.  

The Planty Cube is equipped with IoT technology. The farm is automatically operated by the Cube Operating System (OS). The operating system analyzes temperature, humidity, illuminance, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations, and creates an optimal environment by converting them into data. Nsing explained that it is possible to increase the competitiveness of crops by intentionally adjusting the desired ingredients and taste. For example, for individuals who consume a lot of potassium, one can introduce vegetables with 80% less potassium for, say, patients with kidney disease since potassium exposure can be dangerous for these individuals.  

This year, this product won the Innovation Award in the ‘Sustainability, Eco Design and Smart Energy’ category at the ‘World Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022’. This is the second award after receiving the Best Innovation Award in the ‘Smart City’ category at CES 2020.  

In 2020, the modular container vertical farm drew attention from the smart city genre.  This time, it presented a decentralized farm solution and received high marks for its approach that considered the global environment and sustainability. The supply chain problem that emerged after the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) crisis was well-received in that it could be solved through the urban farm model.  

The actual stage of Nsing does not cover the space. Beyond Korea, he runs a farm in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where agriculture was previously considered impossible.  

Nsing's competitiveness is that it provides an urban farm model and solution that can solve the food security problem that the world is focused on and innovatively reduce logistics costs that are rising due to the pandemic. Through this, we are leading innovation in the value chain that supplies fresh and safe food anytime, anywhere.  

Source: Hanyung Business, Jeong Chae-hee

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