AppHarvest, a startup building North America’s largest greenhouse, announced it’s partnership with the the governments of the Netherlands, the state of Kentucky and several universities and private companies to create an AgTech capital in Appalachia. The venture will partner with local and international experts to help boost the state’s economy, while increasing the country’s food supply.
Signatories to the agreement include the following:
- Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality (LNV), Directorate International Affairs.
- Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Office of the Governor
- Dutch AgTech companies Dalsem, Signify, Certhon, Light4Food, Priva and Rijk Zwaan
- The Netherlands’ HAS University of Applied Science and Fontys University of Applied Sciences
- The University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, University of Pikeville, Eastern Kentucky University and Berea College
- Dutch public-private network organization NLWorks
“It means we don’t have to invent the wheel, that we have partners that have done this, that have created what we are looking to create. It’s an opportunity to build our economy in a way where we never have to worry about whether there’s going to be food on the shelves of our grocery stores.”Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
The company says it expects to eventually deliver produce to not just grocery stores in Appalachia but also those in surrounding states. Located within a day’s drive of 70% of the U.S. population, our base in Appalachia allows us to pick our fruits and veggies when they’re ripe and reduce diesel use in transportation by 80%.
“This long-term partnership will add jobs and create a new signature industry for our Appalachian region. It also demonstrates the kind of international cooperation that we need more of on the national level.”Jonathan Webb, CEO & Founder, AppHarvest
AppHarvest is building some of America’s largest greenhouses, combining conventional agriculture techniques with today’s technology to grow non-GMO, chemical-free produce. AppHarvest greenhouses offers huge advantages vis-a-vis conventional agriculture. These include:
- 90% less water: Our high-tech greenhouses distribute water more efficiently, reducing usage by up to 90%.
- 365 days production: Growing indoors eliminates weather and seasonal constraints, empowering our region with a resilient food source.
- 40% less gas: Our hybrid lighting system with Philips GreenPower LEDs increases harvests while reducing natural gas usage in cooler months.
Gov. Beshear also signed an executive order creating the Governor’s AgriTech Advisory Council, which he will chair and will include several other leaders of state and local government, business, and education.
Read more at The Lane Report