SINGAPORE (Nov 16): Earlier this year, Avarga, formerly known as UPP Holdings, said it was acquiring a 23.08% stake in local start-up Archisen for up to $1.5 million in three separate tranches.

Ian Tong, Avarga’s executive director, is on ­Archisen’s board. Tong is also the executive director of The Edge Media Group, which publishes The Edge Singapore.

While indoor farming is not new, high-tech IoT-enabled farm Archisen is drawing on technical expertise from its partners to improve tis production within a controlled environment, shielded from the vagaries of weather that have tormented farmers since the dawn of civilisation.

Over time, it also plans to collate data across all of its farms to find the optimum yield for various crops.

The growing urgency to raise food production for a burgeoning population has spurred the rise of IoT-enabled farms around the world. The idea is to use a collective set of tools — ranging from drones and environment sensors, to data analysis, and even genetics — to help farmers make better decisions and raise yields.

This opportunity in this green field has attracted significant new capital into the global agriculture technology and high-tech farming space. The scene is especially vibrant in Japan and South Korea, where there are some 100 indoor, high-tech farms in operation today.

Indoor high-tech farming is still relatively nascent — and costly.

Where Archisen stands out is perhaps its franchise model. The company plans to build and operate farms for a fee, such that its farm assets can be owned by financial investors looking to bet on the sector.

Read more about Archisen’s plans to raise food production and grow its business in this week’s issue of The Edge Singapore (issue #857, week of Nov 19). Login to read the full story: High-tech farm partners financial investors to set up farms across Singapore, or click here to subscribe