As the medical cannabis industry starts booming, many people, coming from many different backgrounds, are jumping onto this ‘green’ bandwagon, trying to get their slice of the pie. Yet, when it comes to the production chain, reality hits them hard. The lack of know-how in agriculture results in mistakes that translate to low yield volume and quality and great losses.
“We find customers that have no idea what it means to run an agricultural productive farm, this lack of know-how makes them exposed to make mistakes and invest more money and effort in less relevant components of the project and trying to cut down on components that are crucial to the plant growing procedure” explains Nimrod Regev, irrigation and water engineer and NaanDanJain’s Medical Cannabis projects manager.
NaanDanJain is an Israeli company active all over the world that offers a vast range of products and services for the horticulture industry, especially with regards to water and everything related to that. "The company has been in this industry for more than 80 years, which has provided us with huge knowledge on everything related to horticulture and cultivation," he points out.
A comparison between the flower industry and the cannabis industry
“This is what we bring to our customers,” Maoz Aviv, NaanDanJain Chief Agronomist, explains. “We want to share our knowledge and experience (within the boundaries of confidentiality of course) in order to have both us and our customers understand what are the best solutions to design a successful tailor-made business.” Maoz continues explaining that the aforesaid aura of secrecy surrounding the cannabis industry reminds him of the flower industry during the 80’s. However, there is a huge difference between the 1980s flower industry and the contemporary medical cannabis industry.”
According to him, growers in the flower industry could rely on a lot of know-how that allowed most of them to be successful. “The medical cannabis industry is not just horticulture, but is something more: there’s also a pharmaceutical and a legal aspect. Therefore, a number of medical cannabis growers lack the knowledge to carry out this kind of operations. This is exactly what we bring to the table. Advanced solutions, knowledge and hands-on expertise.”
Maoz Aviv, Chief Agronomist with NaanDanJain
Nimrod points out that they take into consideration three elements before starting to design a growing facility. “The first thing to know is the legislation. In the cannabis industry, each country has its own regulations and laws on the matter. We are learning them all so that we can advise our customer on what is possible and what is not possible to do.” Maoz adds that the next aspect to study beforehand is the agronomy aspect: “As in, what is the target? Are you doing it for the medical industry? Are you going to produce oil? These are major influences when it comes to designing the facility.”
The “agronomic parameter,” Nimrod continues. “Includes also the project location, we need to know the climate, the weather, the length of the day, radiation and so on. This is crucial information that is of the utmost importance to collect. In addition to that, unlike traditional agriculture, the cannabis industry requires professional workers. Third is the operational aspect, a crucial factor that growers need to really take in mind, “for example: The labor force available to the grower indicates as to the intensity of the growing procedure; what would be the volume of our growth cycles? Many small plants and short cycles vs less plants and longer cycles with big plants and so on. There is no one answer to the question “what is better”, the question needs to be “what is better for me as a grower" in light of existing circumstances and existing conditions”
Everything is related to water
NaanDanJain offers a very vast array of services to the agriculture and horticulture industries, but they specialize in irrigation and everything related to that. “For example, fertigation (fertilizing through irrigation) – which goes together with automation and climate control and all is in-house products - the unique thing about it is the integration between the systems. We offer a short response time to our customers’ demands and attentive customer service. Our support can be on-line support from our technical and agronomic teams in our HQ and on-field support by teams from our worldwide branches in Europe, Africa, America, Asia and Australia.
According to both Nimrod and Maoz, it is extremely important to rely on professional development companies that take into consideration every small detail from the initial stages of the project because “If you go by a certain approach and then you have to change it, it will cost a lot of money and time. We are bringing our experience and knowledge to the client in order to find the best tailored solutions for them and yet be flexible enough for changes according to the market demands and to knowledge purchased during the time.
An energy intensive industry
The medical cannabis industry is also an intensive resources consumer, which comes with an environmental price tag.
NaanDanJain comes with 80 years of knowledge supported by its R&D department that keep on creating innovative solutions that enhance efficiency and sustainability. For example, Nimrod and Maoz remark on soil and climate sensors that collect real-time data used on-line to control the irrigation and spraying systems, while recollecting drainage water and preventing diseases - optimizing the efficiency of your farm. “Water is expensive everywhere. We have a lot of experience and knowledge to collect drainage water and put it back into the system, thus reducing water consumption and the grower’s bill at the end of the month.”
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