Food & Energy

14
Sep

SUNfarming Food & Energy Research and Innovation Center

Eight buildings on a total of 15,550 sqm form the new SUNfarming Food & Energy Research and Innovation Center in Rathenow in Brandenburg. 5 innovative research projects will be realized here in the coming years:

1. Biofertilizer from fermentation residues:
Development of a solar-powered process to process digestate from biogas plants and produce liquid biofertilizer

2. PV cooling mat:
Solar power generation by cooling PV modules using innovative cooling mats and combined use of heat potential (PV cooling mat)

3. Artemisia annua cultivation:
Sustainable cultivation for ecological and economical cultivation of Artemisia Annua in partially shaded agri-solar systems

4. Aquaponics in PV plants:
Development of an energy sustainable and resource efficient aquaculture cycle system under the partially shaded areas of Agri-Solar plants

5. Agro-robotics:
Development of an autonomous agro-robot for efficient Artemisia cultivation in Agri-Solar facilities

The total complex consisting of a skylight dome hall, 2 shed roof halls, 2 x light weight halls, 2 Food & Energy facilities and a social building has 730 kWp of installed PV capacity with an energy production of 690 MWh per year.

7
Sep

African Warmwood for South Africa

African Warmwood production is in full swing. As part of our SUNfarming Vitality Porridge Project in 2020 and our new Covid19 Responses Program, African Warmwoodis a component of the vitality-promoting food along with turmeric or ginger and supports the body’s defenses.

The pictures show some of the steps in the production process:
Trainees receive hands-on instruction in the selection and proper sorting of harvested mugwort.
Afterwards, the mugwort is gently dried slowly at below 40 degrees in special drying houses powered by solar energy. Slow drying is crucial for the active ingredient content.
After drying, the mugwort is sorted again and then ground into a fine powder.
The finished powder is filled into bags or buckets and delivered to a food factory for further processing.

18
Aug

SUNfarming COVID-19 Response Program for South Africa

Erkner, August 18nd, 2021

During the two-year project period (2021/22), 28.8 million packs of Vitality Porridge will be distributed to over 10,000 school children and 50,000 family members, 40 school gardens will be created and more than 1,260 unemployed people will receive training to empower them to become self-sufficient.

In 2020 SUNfarming successfully carried out the DeveloPPP project “Vitality Porridge” to combat the consequences of Covid-19 with the help of DEG in South Africa. Over 10,000 school children and their families were directly supplied with high-energy, healthy food (SF Vitality Porridge). In certified training courses, teachers and unemployed relatives of school children were taught theoretical and practical knowledge about ecological, water-saving vegetable growing and healthy eating. As a result, numerous vegetable gardens for self-sufficiency were created in the townships.

Despite the success of the Vitality Porridge Project, there are still major problems providing school meals for the children from families in need. We are therefore pleased to now work with DEG on a significantly larger training and supply project in South Africa with a total volume of almost 10 million euros.

The SUNfarming DeveloPPP project is supported by the June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, the non-profit association Food Education Energy and Development e.V. (FEED) of Hamburg, and the F.E.E.D. NGO of South Africa. The non-profit association FEED of Germany and its sister organization in South Africa collect donations from international donors, companies, and foundations to further expand the urgently needed and sustainable development aid in South Africa and that is in addition to the projects through DEG.

The SUNfarming COViD-19 Response Program, which is geared towards sustainability and helping people to help themselves, is divided into three program parts:

SF Vitality Porridge Food Aid Program:
More than 40 schools, 10,000 children and 50,000 of their family members will take part in this sustainable project aimed at helping people to help themselves. Also, 28.8 million packs of high-quality & healthy Vitality Porridge produced by SUNfarming will be delivered and distributed over a period of 18 months.

Vitality Porridge contains not only multiple vitamins and nutrients but also medicinal herbs such as artemisia (African mugwort), turmeric, and ginger to enhance the immunity of the human body.
Training courses on all aspects of organic vegetable growing and healthy eating will again be part of the program.

“The medicinal herbs for the Vitality Porridge are already being grown, dried, processed and bottled by trainees as multiple cultures (intercropping), together with various types of vegetables, in our Food & Energy Training Centers. The extruders provided on the Food & Energy plants for the production of Vitality Porridge have been technically enlarged so that they can produce up to 200,000 food portions per day, ”explainsPeter Schrum, SUNfarming founder and main shareholder.
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to DEG for the renewed support without which we would not be able to implement this Covid-19 Response Program,” continues Peter Schrum.

“We are very pleased to have a reliable partner at our side in Sunfarming, who has been assuring its corporate responsibility in a number of countries for many years. This is anything but a matter of course, we very much appreciate the constant, reliable commitment of Sunfarming to the implementation of the project, ”says Manuela Marques, Head of Customer Solutions at DEG..


The courses offered are monitored by the South African authority SAQA (South African Qualification Authority). The successful candidates are awarded certificates at the end of the program in a small ceremony to symbolize its national recognition of the qualification that facilitates them to enter into the skilled labor market

Rural parishes support the project comprehensively by encouraging the participation of communities and also by providing their plots of lands for the practical training courses. As a result, such lands owned by churches should continue to be cultivated by parishioners and serve as a source of food for the needy in those communities.

The Covid-19 Response Program offers immediate aid against hunger and, at the same time, sustainable help for self-help through certified training courses in vegetable growing and healthy eating for the local population. Labor is required for production in the Food & Energy centers. Accredited Agri-SETA trainers in organic vegetable cultivation trained by SUNfarming South Africa take on the training of these workers. In this way, new jobs are also created on site.


The theoretical and practical training includes everything necessary for a successful harvest, from soil preparation to sowing, irrigation and pest control. Those plots laid out by the first group are expanded and maintained by subsequent groups. In the course of the growing season, the following groups can learn practically how to control pests and how to prune. Intercropping with medicinal herbs, the use of organic fertilizers, and the efficient use of water resources are covered during the training courses.
The produces, mainly vegetables are sold to the school on favorable terms for the consumption of students & staff. As such, this program has been successful in ensuring multiple benefits such as healthy food, skills development on organic farming, and also it creates enthusiasm and passion for farming. All these benefits are to ensure much sustainable culture towards the well-being of the next generation in the country.

“With the COVID-19 response program for South Africa, which is co-financed by DEG, we are in a position to bring our valuable and long-term experience with food & energy technologies, especially for school children, and approx. 60,000 people daily for 18 months with SF Vitality Supply porridge. We give people a new perspective for life, ”explains
David Morr, Project Manager International of the SUNfarming Group.

Daniel Alex, DEG project manager, explains: “This project is very unusual in terms of its size and the effect it will achieve. We rarely reach so many people on different levels – this is made possible by the enormous range of activities. Thanks to the two-pronged approach, we are able to combine short-term food support with the development of sustainable structures for the permanent improvement of living conditions in the areas in South Africa severely affected by Covid-19.”

28
May

SUNfarming CEO wins kayak marathon

This makes it South Africa’s best marathon kayaker in the 50 to 55 age group

Gustav Radloff is not only an excellent CEO, but also a top runner at this year’s kayak marathon in South Africa. With this victory he qualified for the 2021 World Cup in Romania.
And as if that weren’t enough, he took part in two more marathons in the 45-50 and 35-50 age groups, where he came second and fourth.

The SUNfarming team warmly congratulates. We are very proud of him.

6
Jan

a success story: solar-training-centre south africa

More than 3000 trainees have successfully completed our training courses at the Solar Training Center in Potchefstroom / South Africa since it opened in 2013. To show what the trainees think of the overall performance of our SUNfarming South Africa and SUNCYbernetic team, here are some original voices from the online training in November 2020:

-I had a wonderful lifetime experience , as a not so technically person I truly have to say @Faure van Schalkwyk you are a super teacher / facilitator…@Anelda you are fantastic administrator. Thank you guys for a super experience and everyone whom I met , never was made to feel like I was less qualified thank you guys . I pray we all succeed in our future endeavors and may our paths meet again as we grow in the industry.. God bless you all Gentleman. Even me as a technical person really learned a lot.
-Thank you to all and for everything Faure and Anelda. You are legends.
-Yes. Thank you all. Learned an awful lot. Laughed and worried. You are very wise men with many years of knowledge and experience. Thank you Anelda for all your hard work and Faure. I will come and do it with you again anytime. It was awfully nice
-Best online Presenters i have experience – kept once attention at all times
-They have given us a good content and very easy to grasp. They interacted with everyone well
-They are all prepared and professional
-Very impressed with the presenters’ ability to stimulate participation. Kudos to the team for the video training setup which I think is quite effective.
– …it is always a pleasure to attend SSEG courses. Faure, Dr Botha and Josh are fantastic and is professional

You can find out more about the Solar Training Centre here

22
Dec

SUNfarming Vitality Porridge and Trainings for Africa

The project started in September 2020 and immediately brought desperately needed relief. Within 8 weeks 2.347,600 million servings of Vitality Porridge were distributed. 3.800 participants were trained in self-sufficiency. So far, over 20 schools with over 23,000 students and a minimum of 60,000 family members have taken part in the project. Up to 3.800 people who have become unemployed have been trained in the training program. The project offers the 60 best candidates (possible future entrepreneurs) further training on the agricultural property provided by SUNfarming in Potchefstroom.

“None of us can do that much
like we all can do together “.
With this in mind, we wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a hopeful start to the new year. Health, happiness and good luck- combined with our sincere thanks for your trust!

With festive greetings
Your SUNfarming team

27
Oct

Healthy vegetables from your own garden -doesn’t sound spectacular, but it is!

Townships of South Africa have among the highest unemployment figures, and children have deficiency symptoms due to an inadequate supply of vitamins and minerals. COVID-19 has exacerbated people’s economically already very bad situation even further. Here we started our SUNfarming Vitality Porridge project 6 weeks ago.

More information can be found here

Equipped with a starter kit for their own vegetable gardens (watering can, soil, bucket, vegetable plants), our first trainees left our training 4 weeks ago with a certificate proofing they had successfully attended the training in vegetable growing and healthy nutrition.
This week we visited them at home to see whether what they had learned could also be implemented at home – and we are thrilled! All of them have created a small vegetable garden, built a fence, the plants are strong and, thanks to good care, grow into healthy vegetables.
Our project shows that with the help to help themselves, and with our trainings, we have given people in the townships of South Africa hope that everyone can contribute something to improve their own living conditions. Parents can be a role model for their children, children learn that it pays to be proactive and how important a healthy diet is.
Pictures often say more than words:

The trainings are part of the SUNfarming Vitality Porridge Project in South Africa. The SUNfarming CoVID-19 Response project is funded by develoPPP funds from the German Ministry for Economic cooperation and Development through KfW / DEG. The project is supported by June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation and F.E.E.D. (Food-Energy-Education-Development e.V.), which support SUNfarming in the implementation.

14
Oct

SUNfarming Vitality Porridge and Trainings for Africa

The project started in September 2020 and immediately brought desperately needed relief by distributing 231,900 servings over the first 6 days. The project’s short-term aim is to provide schoolchildren and their families with vitality-enhancing food (SUNfarming Vitality Booster Porridge). Vitality Porridge not only contains powerful vitamins and nutrients, but also supports the body’s defenses through the medicinal herbs it contains, such as mugwort, turmeric or ginger. The project, has a strong focus on sustainability and helping people to help themselves. This medium- to long-term aim of the project provides certified training courses to people in need. These courses teach teachers, family members of the school children and other people who have lost their jobs theoretical and practical knowledge about organic vegetable growing and healthy eating.

SUNfarming Vitality Porridge Project in South Africa is a PPP project and is funded by KfW/DEG. The project is supported in the organization by develoPPP, June & Andrew Mlangeni Foundation, german cooperation, F.E.E.D. (Food-Energy-Education-Development e.V.).

Multiple award-winning SUNfarming Training Centers
More than 1,000 training courses have been held since 2013 at the SF Solar Training Center and SF Food & Energy Training Center for participants from all over Africa. With the help of KfW/DEG, SUNfarming / Alensys successfully implemented the Solar Training Center at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa, as part of a PPP Public Private Partnership Program in 2013. In 2015 the solar training center was expanded by 15 agro-solar greenhouses to become the SF Food & Energy Training Center. The training centers, which are constantly being expanded even after the funding period has expired, are in full-time operation and, in addition to solar power for the Campus, also supply fresh vegetables to the North-West University Campus, a grocery store in Potchefstroom (Pick & Pay) and several catering facilities.

Fresh vegetables are important for a healthy diet, but people often lack the opportunities to grow them, the money to buy them or the firewood to prepare them. Together with our technical business partners in South Africa, we have developed a vitality-strengthening grain-based dry food (Vitality Porridge). Vitality Porridge not only increases performance, but also contains medicinal herbs from our own cultivation that are known for their positive effects on health. The Vitality Porridge Project offers immediate help against hunger and malnutrition. The project also provides sustainable help through the certified training courses in vegetable growing and healthy eating. These courses are presented to the local population – specifically to people who are without work. Labor is required for food production including in the Food & Energy centers. Accredited Agri-SETA trainers in organic vegetable cultivation provided by SUNfarming South Africa take on the training of these workers. In this way, we are creating new jobs. Our trainees are much better equipped to find work in the agricultural sector after they have completed our training courses.

The courses offered in vegetable growing and healthy eating are controlled by the South African authority SAQA (South African Qualification Authority). The certificates awarded at the end represent a nationally recognized qualification which facilitates entry into the labor market.

The first training took place on September 14th in the local parish. The parishes support the project comprehensively by scouting participants and by providing parish gardens for the practical training. As a result, the church garden should continue to be cultivated by community members and serve as a source of food for the poorest.

So far, over 20 schools with over 10,000 students and a minimum of 60,000 family members have taken part in the project. Up to 300 people who have become unemployed will be trained in the training program. The project offers the 60 best candidates (possible future entrepreneurs) further training on the agricultural property provided by SUNfarming in Potchefstroom. As a licensed SUNfarming franchiser, the majority of them should help to supply supermarkets with organic vegetables and herbs.

Theoretical and practical training includes everything that is necessary for a successful harvest, from soil preparation to sowing, irrigation and pest control. The gardens laid out by the first group are expanded and maintained by subsequent groups. In the course of the growing season, the following groups can learn pest control and pruning in practice. All trainees receive a file with the training material. On the last day of the course, each trainee receives the nationally recognized training certificate from the SAQA (South African Qualification Authority) for successful participation in a small handover ceremony.

As an immediate aid, Vitality Porridge will be distributed to school children as a daily vitamin and nutrient-rich supplement to school meals during the project period. In addition, the children receive a 5 kg bag to take home for their families. Since there are often not enough plates in schools, the Vitality Porridge can also be diluted and consumed more like a milkshake. The children love it all the more because they say it tastes like a vanilla shake.

The course participants can also take a 5kg bag of Vitality Porridge home with them. The joy is great, so is the need. Many ask whether further donations and training can be expected.The school programs supported by KfW/DEG are intended to tackle malnutrition, one of the biggest development problems in African countries, at the root. Through training courses directly in the production facilities and in cooperation with the parishes, jobs and sustainable future prospects are created for the people in Africa.

“The medicinal herbs for Vitality Porridge are already being grown, dried and bottled by trainees as multiple cultures (intercropping) together with various types of vegetables in our Food & Energy Training Centers. The extruders provided on the Food & Energy systems for the production of Vitality Porridge have been technically enlarged so that they can produce up to 200,000 food servings per day, ”explains Peter Schrum, SUNfarming founder and main shareholder.

“We would like to express our thanks to KfW/DEG without their support we would not have been able to implement the emergency food aid and training programs in the Vitality Porridge Project,” continues Peter Schrum.

2
Sep

SUNfarming wild herb meadows for more biodiversity

Yarrow, toadflax, bee willow, wild radish and other wild herbs will also grow on the meadows and flower strips of our solar systems this year.

Our PV open space systems offer many plants and animals urgently needed living space that has been lost due to intensively used agricultural areas. Our perennial wild herb meadows make an important contribution to promoting biodiversity.According to the Biodiversity Council, the extinction of pollinator insects threatens global food production with a value of 235 to 577 billion dollars per year. Out of 8 million insects, 1 million are threatened with extinction.

Extensive permanent green areas are created under the modules of our PV open-air systems, offering habitats for many animal and plant species that have already disappeared from intensively used agricultural areas. More insects mean more breeding birds. Here you can find food and e.g. Also sitting on the module rows and security fences. We do not fertilize or use any pesticides and there is also no machine tillage, factors that can negatively influence the fertility of the soil and the water balance. At the same time, the wild herb meadows promote humus formation, and the humus in turn binds carbon dioxide (CO2).


We work together with shepherds who like to use the fenced PV systems for their sheep. This summer there are 1200 sheep that keep the vegetation between the module rows short. The security fence offers protection from wolves. The module rows also offer weather protection in the rain or provide shade in summer.


22
Jun

SUNfarming Vitality Porridge for Africa

8000 portions of Vitality Porridge, donated by SUNfarming to the June & Andrew Mhlangeni Foundation, were handed over to Child Welfare in Soweto last week.


„Emergency aid through food donations is intended to help combat acute hunger. But in the long term we want to give people a sustainable future perspective through education and jobs in our Food & Energy training centre“, continous Peter Schrum.

Together with local partners in South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Burkina Faso and other African countries, high-quality school meals for children are to be provided. The porridge, prepared with water or milk, contains all the necessary nutrients and also the immune-boosting medicinal herbs Artemisia, ginger and turmeric. Together with emergency food aid, the Food & Energy plants create training positions in horticulture and for electrical assistants. Further training for physics and biology teachers in healthy nutrition and sustainable energy production are offered. The knowledge obtained can be passed on directly to school children, students and other interested parties.
With Food & Energy plants and Vitality Porridge Production, SUNfarming makes a sustainable contribution to combating the effects of the corona pandemic.

SUNfarming Food & Energy