The rise of farming as a service…An interview with CRYSP FARMS CEO, Maan Said:
“We work with standardized, modular boxes of 14.8 x 3.2 x 3.6 meters, which contain a sink, nursery, and prepping area. With this, we can produce a minimum of 10 kilograms per day,” says Maan Said, Founder, and CEO of CRYSP Farms, the first farming service to hotels and supermarkets.
CRYSP Farms is based in Dubai and offers “Farming as a Service,” with everything from farm design to permitting, construction, growing, farming, and distribution. CRYSP Farms currently operates thirteen vertical farms around the GCC (Arab States of the Gulf) and Seychelles, including farming installations at the Ritz Carlton JBR, Carrefour Ibn Battuta, and Mandarin Oriental.
CRYSP Farms is technology-agnostic which allows the farming company to remain open-minded when designing farms for different clients.
For example, farming in Dubai will have very different cooling requirements than a farm in a temperate area. When considering a supermarket installation, the farming system may need to take up less floor space but can be taller.
“The farming units are designed for the environment that they are in and for the specific crop. We’ve worked with various hydroponic technologies and ultimately decide based on the space allocated for us by the customer,” affirms Maan.
Small batch production possible with CRYSP
Thanks to the company’s close connection with its clients, CRYSP Farms has a clear view of the products currently in demand and the niches that vertical farming can fill – and it isn’t all in the leafy green category.
CRYSP Farms has grown 130 different varieties in its vertical farming systems and offers its clients the flexibility to adjust their production to meet their needs. For example, many clients require a combination of products in smaller volumes or a few varieties in high volumes.
With CRYSP Farms, either option is viable.
“This technology makes a lot of sense for hotels as sometimes, they can get their desired product every week, or the product doesn’t have a long shelf life.
Bringing farming on-site with CRYSP Farms alleviates this issue without adding much work on the clients’ site as we monitor the farms from wherever,” says Maan.
We bring the farm
CRYSP Farms has focused mostly on hotel and supermarket installation in the GCC and Seychelles but is looking to widen its reach throughout the Middle East and into Africa.
The company will soon begin farming services in Egypt. Taking it one step further, CRYSP Farms is looking at selling their farming service to catering companies, which would allow caterers to produce their own fresh vegetables.
Further, CRYSP Farms is interested in working with food processing companies. “Other catering companies bring the produce, but bring the farms and farming service so they can prepare everything on site,” says Maan.