Press Release from 2024-01-12 / DEG
DEG supports innovative fruit and vegetable cultivation in Indonesia
Company Sweet Greens uses hydroponic technology for resource-efficient cultivation
Despite its fertile soils, Indonesia depends on imports of many types of fruit and vegetables as the country’s agriculture is not very developed and is vulnerable to weather, pests and disease. Innovative farming methods can help to remedy this. The Indonesian company Sweet Greens is using modern greenhouses with hydroponic technology and precision farming method to grow fruit and vegetables to its greatest quality and yield potential. This cultivation technique works without soil, as the plants are supplied with nutrients dissolved in water. To enable it to build more greenhouses, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH will provide the company with USD 750,000 via its Up-Scaling programme for innovative business models.
In its pilot greenhouse, Sweet Greens has been growing melons since 2022. It plans to build more greenhouses to grow chilli, a staple spice used in Indonesian cuisine. In addition, the company is researching alternative methods of cultivating cherry tomatoes, lettuce and blueberries.
Sunlight as main energy source
Sweet Greens uses sunlight as its main energy source and controls its greenhouses digitally with sensors and automated processes. Plants are protected against adverse climatic conditions and are less susceptible to moulds and fungi in the greenhouses. To further improve resource efficiency, Sweet Greens is also focusing on products that generate barely any waste.
Objective: reducing imports, improving food security, improving food quality
“With Sweet Greens and its innovative hydroponic farming method, we’re supporting a young local company that, produces the same volume of harvest with much less energy, equipment, water, land and waste compared to conventional farming. In doing so, we want to contribute to resource efficiency and improved food security,” says Dr Tobias Bidlingmaier, in charge of up-scaling projects at DEG.
Sweet Greens was founded by three Indonesian entrepreneurs with the aim of setting new standards for high-quality melon hydroponic farming. The company markets and distributes its products via its own website, social media and large grocery shops. Sweet Greens also plans to cooperate with various delivery service apps.
Through its Up-Scaling programme, DEG supports pioneering investments by young companies in developing countries. This includes greentechs such as Sweet Greens, as well as fintech companies.