Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares to Hold Press Conference at Fusion Farms Facility

Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares

With innumerable trials and obstacles safely behind them, the husband-and-wife team behind the hurricane-protected #aquaponics farming initiative, Fusion Farms, can finally celebrate a well and hard-earned success. This coming Tuesday, May 21st 2019, Kendell Lang and Lisa Jander together with the island of Puerto Rico will be celebrating at a Press Conference at their pilot facility in Mayagüez, and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares will be attending.

A dream long in the making

Since their first visit to the spectacularly beautiful Caribbean island several years ago, Kendell and Lisa have dreamed about moving to #PuertoRico and establishing a sustainable agricultural initiative that would – in some way –contribute to the island’s recovery. In 2018, they made the move from San Diego, California and after more than a year of hard toil against the monumental tasks of fund-raising and interpreting government grants and incentives, and completing bank applications, they managed to secure the first Fusion Farms facility in Mayagüez, a municipality in western Puerto Rico.  With the help of #PRIDCO, #USDA and the Department of Agriculture, to name a few, Fusion Farms is well on the way to pioneering a sustainable indoor agriculture model for the island.

Press Conference and Incentive Awards

The Press Conference and Incentive Awards are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 21st 2019 at 1:30 PM where community members will be able to see the vision for the indoor farm.

“We are pleased to announce that Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares is scheduled to come to the Fusion Farms facility in Mayagüez,” says CEO and co-founder Kendell Lang. “He will be doing a site visit, tour of the building, presentation, and award the solar energy grant to officially welcome Fusion Farms to Puerto Rico.” “Fusion Farms is proud to be at the forefront of what the Department of Economic Development is incentivizing for innovative agriculture solutions, specifically our hurricane-protected aquaponic vertical farm.”

Also in attendance will be the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, who will be discussing their delivery of $9 million USD to the Programa de Hidroponicos (Program of Hydroponics) and Pymes Innovadoras (Innovative Small to Medium Enterprises) in an effort to advance the agriculture sector of Puerto Rico.

“Fusion Farms is excited to create jobs and work with the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Department of Agriculture. By working together, we can address the needs of the community and begin to establish food security for the island. The current incentives offered to all farmers are making it possible for agriculture to thrive,” says Lisa Jander, co-founder and Director of Operations of Fusion Farms. “We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to welcoming everyone to our new facility!”

To attend, please visit the Facebook Event page, click “Number of Spots”, and then “Reserve” to secure a spot at this ground-breaking ceremony.

About Fusion Farms

“Cultivando buena comida para buenas personas”

“Growing good food for good people”

Fusion Farms “Growing Puerto Rico”

Fusion Farms is the first indoor aquaponic farm of its kind on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The concept seeks to transform the unused Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO) buildings that are scattered across the island into hurricane-protected, vertical #aquaponic farms. Within this contained and controlled environment, vegetables, micro-greens, and herbs can be grown and supplied to the island, greatly reducing its dependence on imported fresh produce. Furthermore, Fusion Farms will be able to supply a fresh, #sustainable source of fish protein, since Tilapia are an essential component of aquaculture.

For more information about Fusion Farms and to become an investor in this opportunity, go to www.fusionfarmspr.com or email Info@FusionFarmsPR.com

Puerto Rico is OPEN for Green Business!

Lisa and I were able to attend the “Puerto Rico is Open For Green Business” Summit at the San Juan Convention Center today, so it was exciting to hear all the opportunities Puerto Rico has to turn around the devastation from Hurricane Maria to an opportunity to set a new course for the Island.

Here are some pictures of our time at the event:

This is me with HON. RICARDO ROSSELLÓ NEVARES the Governor of Puerto Rico:

This is me with ON. TANIA VÁZQUEZ RIVERA the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources

This is me with RODRICK MILLER the Chief Executive Officer of Invest Puerto Rico.

This is Lisa with Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares.

Farming Technology Making Local Sustainable Food Sources Accessible

The exponential growth of the human population has in recent years brought agriculture to the fore of our attention. This time, however, the focus isn’t exclusively on producing as much food as possible but rather on farming practices that are sustainable and profitable. We can no longer afford to pump food out of our farmlands, vineyards, greenhouses, and grow facilities without considering the impact of these industries upon the environment.

With renewed environmental respect becoming mainstream, more farmers are investing in technology that is helping them to farm more sustainably and more profitable, too. This technology ranges from field machinery, moisture sensors, and gadgets to a rather surprising suite of smartphone apps that are eliminating the middleman and returning the profit to the farmers. Let’s take a look at these various sustainable farming technologies.

“The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet society’s food and textile needs in the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Practitioners of sustainable agriculture seek to integrate three main objectives into their work: a healthy environment, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.”

UC David Agricultural Sustainability Institute 

Smartphone apps connecting producers with consumers

Rather than selling wares locally and encouraging a healthy local economy for agricultural produce, many farmers have been seduced into selling to international markets. This made food more expensive for locals (because they were competing with international prices) while also translating into an enormous carbon footprint.

Thankfully, recent years have seen a powerful push to support local food producers and to minimize the distance each head of cabbage or punnet of chicken eggs has to travel before reaching the consumer’s table.

One of the most successful ways this is making headway is through a suite of smartphone apps, such as FarmDrop, Food Assembly, and Farms2Tables. These apps enable users to conveniently place an order online for fresh, seasonal farm produce – fruits, vegetable, dairy, meats, etc. – and either have it delivered to their door or collected from a weekly “drop” location near them. Done this way (direct from farm to table) the distributors and various middlemen are eliminated from the transaction, returning the majority of the profits to the farmer’s pocket.

Other apps, such as Locavore and Farmstand are putting consumers in direct contact with local food producers and/or the necessary information they need to make smart, seasonal, and sustainable food choices.

Multi-spectral analysis

Multispectral imaging helps a farmer monitor the real-time health and hydration of crops by measuring the wavelength spectrum emitted or reflected by that patch of ground. Unhealthy or dehydrated crops will emit a particular signature, which can subsequently be specifically remedied, rather than wasting a lot of water and nutrients on an entire field; or deploying pesticides/medications indiscriminately. This minimizes environmental impact and is certainly a more cost-effective approach for the farmer.

In-field water sensors

The large-scale deployment of in-field water sensors is useful for the real-time monitoring of site-specific moisture and temperature characteristics. This, in turn, helps farmers decide upon an irrigation scheme that is best suited to the environment and the soils, ensures that crops are healthy, reduces evaporation, and minimizes water wastage.

Renewable energy for farming

Solar panels, wind turbines, and biofuels offer farmers a source of clean power that is minimally invasive and (mostly) carbon emission free. Moreover, the excess energy these technologies produce can be channeled back into the grid to power neighboring communities. Also, harvesting animal waste products such as cow and chicken manure can be used as fertilizers, which can help cut back on costs and minimize the unnecessary use of chemicals.

Adopting a cross-disciplinary approach to farming

Farmers are increasingly adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to agriculture, giving careful consideration to all aspects of the land, the environment, and the community and not just pumping out as much produce as possible. Achieving this mindfulness has largely been facilitated and made possible through the advent of new technologies – such as those we have discussed – that enable farmers to get their work done more efficiently and with less demand on the environment.

Today, #farming can be done profitably and sustainably through a plethora of technologies that blend a sophisticated understanding of biology, engineering, chemistry, economics, community, and more to help us work towards a more environmentally conscious and sustainable future.