Ahora: Innovative initiative to improve the productivity of Colombian agriculture
From Guggenheim to Bogota, under the leadership of the Colombian agricultural company Sáenz Fety, a container to showcase high-tech to increase productivity while remaining both competitive and sustainable, landed in the exhibition venue Corferias. The initiative called “Ahora” (Spanish word for “now”) aims to demonstrate that the future is now, when innovative technologies can become solutions to feed the world without causing environmental damage. In that sense, ”Ahora” seeks to foster the transformation of the Colombian agricultural sector through highlighting the importance of conscious production, producers’ professionalization and more responsible consumption.
What if the way of producing food was more sustainable? That is the question that “Ahora” tries to answer through this production concept inside containers based on a hydroponic system in which 90 percent of water is saved - compared to a conventional open field System - making efficient use of this resource as all the water recirculates and is constantly reused. Likewise, renewable energy is also an important part of this concept. Hence, this container also has solar panels that supply energy to the temperature control and CO2 injection equipment necessary to provide optimal conditions of temperature, humidity and light for the development of crops.
Sáenz Fety in alliance with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Colombia, Los Andes University, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, EnelX, iNNpulsa and the Dutch-Colombian Chamber of Commerce - Holland House, this container was able to arrive in Colombia after being on exhibition at the Guggenheim museum in New York. For the first time in the country and Latin America, this exhibition can be seen at the International Fairs Center of Bogotá - Corferias. Sáenz Fety, as a member of the Dutch platform called “Eat this”, promotes two messages: On the one hand, bringing Dutch innovation and sustainable production technologies closer to Colombia; and on the other hand, promoting responsible consumption of better quality products.
The Ambassador of the Netherlands in Colombia - Mr. Ernst Noorman and the Department of Agriculture of the Embassy headed by the Agricultural Counselor - Mrs. Léontine Crisson, were present at the launch of “Ahora”, where representatives of the allied organisations were present too. This type of events also help raising awareness of the importance of a healthy diet, while sustainable production is integrated into public discussion spaces. Therefore, Ambassador Noorman took the opportunity to highlight the importance of nature-based solutions such as biological control in order to make production more circular and sustainable, contributing to the ambition of reaching the SDG’s.
Under the slogan "If it is good for the countryside, it is good for everyone", this food container intends to show all the visitors of Corferias that another way of producing is possible but also another way of consumption, where consumers can demand safer and healthier food. Additionally, “Ahora” contributes to sensitize farmers about sustainable production models that are the reason behind the success of leading agri-food producers such as the Netherlands. This has been possible thanks to the production levels reached by the container, where 50Kg per square meter of tomato have been harvested, while the Colombian average is around 8Kg per square meter. ”Ahora” is, therefore, a practical and tangible way to bring sustainable agriculture closer to all audiences, while conveying the message that the future of feeding is at present.