Business
Posted: 3 weeks ago

"Artificial Intelligence to Revolutionize Plant Sowing and Harvesting," says FarmLabs

Onise Zivzivadze, the co-founder of FarmLabs, an eco-friendly agricultural product manufacturing firm, shared with "Business Partner" that the development of "smart aeroponics" is progressing steadily, albeit slowly.

This innovative approach to agriculture allows for the cultivation of large quantities of produce in a compact area, for instance, yielding up to 2-3 tons of potatoes annually from just a 4 sq.m. panel.

Zivzivadze explained that the project's advancement has been hampered by the complexity of the technological efforts involved. Currently, the company is engaged in experimental operations aimed at pioneering modern greenhouse farming and creating an innovative software system to manage the plant growth process within the aeroponics setup.

Zivzivadze reveals that artificial intelligence is set to perform nearly all tasks, barring planting and harvesting. Preliminary experiments conducted in Guria and Samegrelo have shown promising results, with the traditional three-month vegetation period for lettuce leaves significantly reduced to one month, while research on roses is ongoing.

The demand from large-scale farmers is high, Zivzivadze notes, but FarmLabs is yet to meet this demand fully until at least the initial phase of the project is concluded.

"There's considerable anticipation for our work both in Georgia and globally, yet we're still finalizing our work. Our system, whether for small or large greenhouses, controls many variables. We're integrating artificial intelligence into our software, a concept that's been explored theoretically but now requires practical application, and we're leading this charge. We're developing an algorithm-program to automate specialist tasks, enabling the system to diagnose and address plant growth issues, ensuring maximum yield efficiency. The aim is for this AI-driven program to replace human error with a fail-proof algorithm, taking over all major functions within the business chain," Zivzivadze elaborated.

FarmLabs handles both the installation of the aeroponics panels and the software development. In 2021, the project secured a 100,000 GEL grant from Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency.

Though FarmLabs sought additional funding through GITA's 650,000 GEL grant competition - 500 Startups, to propel their future plans forward, they were unsuccessful in obtaining the investment.