MONTREAL— Affinor Growers, a diversified agriculture and biotechnology company, which is perhaps better known as a legal marijuana grower, has announced a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The agreement will allow the USDA Agricultural Research Service to work with Affinor’s vertical farming technology at its facility in Kearneysville, W.V. and at Affinor’s controlled environment in Quebec. The ARS will use Affinor’s proprietary vertical farming systems to grow not marijuana, but strawberries.
A goal of the research is to define a new disease management protocol and identify and grow microbial antagonists with strawberry transplants of named varieties that are currently available in the U.S. and Canada.
“Working with such a sophisticated team will show strong transparency and validation to Affinor and the technology,” Nick Brusatore, Affinor’s chairman said.
Affinor’s chief scientific officer Hyder Khojaadded noted that vertical farming may be the solution the significant problems changes to strawberry production in North America, and that it will force vertical farming technology to the forefront.
“With USDA-ARS collaboration we are furthering our efforts to validate vertical farming technology with the help from their dedicated team of scientist,” he said.
“Affinor’s global patent for vertical farming technology helps to achieve global demand for this type of research. It is noted that this Affinor patent is not just limited to strawberries or blackberries but many other medicinal valued plant herbs. This will validate our data and replication strategies for our long term goals for plant production,” he added.