March 30, 2022

Alberta Stories

Nature of the business: Agriplay’s vertical farms offer green solutions to food insecurity and energy use 

Office plants are famous for clean air and reduced noise levels, but what if the greenery in your building could reduce food insecurity, grow cucumbers and use 90% less energy than traditional vertical farm operations? 

That’s the idea behind the latest vertical farming innovations from Agriplay—a company looking to invest in Alberta and become the largest vertical farming company in the world. The company also seeks to be part of the solution to some of the world’s biggest problems: food security, climate change, unskilled labour and displaced labour, as well as commercial and retail vacancies. 

Coined as “elevated urban farming,” Agriplay is dedicated to solving food insecurity by transforming underutilized commercial real estate into productive vertical farms. The company builds custom, modular growth systems—installed within existing buildings—that can grow up to 150 varieties of local crops including fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Right now, Canadian markets are up to 98% net importers of greenhouse vegetables.  

The Agriplay system doesn’t require a purpose-built facility or an industrial building— it’s described as a plug-and-play, scalable installation that can be set up in offices or storefronts in a variety of sizes. With relatively little capital investment, the urban farms can grow quickly and sustainably. 

Machine learning and robotics are also part of the process, where the modular farms “speak” to each other and continually analyze data to adjust operations for maximum efficiency. 

Invest Alberta signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Agriplay in March 2022 to connect the company with agri-investors, government and the post-secondary ecosystem. 

Post-secondary education opportunities can help ensure that Agriplay’s expertise and innovations are shared with Alberta’s talent pipeline and allow this knowledge ecosystem to teach the world.  

Agriplay plans to host a demonstration centre in Calgary Tower East where patrons can watch crops grow inside the building. They have millions secured in verbal commitments. 

Technology and innovation, matched with an environmental and social focus show ESG in motion through Agriplay’s unique growing operations. 

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