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.

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.

24
Feb

1 MW SF Food & Energy Training Center connected to the grid

After only 6 weeks of assembly time and the laying of 1.2 km of medium-voltage cable, the first Food & Energy Training Center on Madagascar started operating on January 26, 2020.

The system is grid-connected and will shortly, in consultation with the local electricity provider Jirama, supply the city of Antsirabe with clean, renewable solar energy.



30
Jan

50 MWp SUNfarming Food & Energy for Togo

The SUNfarming Group’s business trip to Togo in January led to the successful conclusion of a contract for 50 MWp Food & Energy plants.

After several months of preparation, SUNfarming signed a PPA with the Togolese state on Thursday, January 16, 2020, for over 50 MWp Food & Energy plants. Installed on 2 x 50 hectares of land, the systems, in addition to supplying energy, are intended to help up to 50,000 people in the region receive training in the area of organic vegetable and egg production in the next 10 years. In addition, technicians are trained for the solar sector and the basics of electromobility are taught. Like in all other African countries, SUNfarming strives to actively involve GIZ and or KfW / DEG.

The SUNfarming Food & Energy facility will be the starting signal for a program to promote rural structural development in Togo. The partner in Togo is the CCIT (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie du Togo, part of the Ministre du Commerce. It is responsible for the training and operation of the Food & Energy plants, under the guidance of SUNfarming. German storage and processing technologies in the field of vegetables and egg processing are as much part of the overall project as the production planning of e.g. tomato juice and ketchup to attract additional investors in these areas.

The SUNfarming Food & Energy concept can make a significant contribution to the success of the “Development Program in Rural Areas” planned by the Togolese government. In addition to a qualified workforce, this project also provides national and international investors with the energy they need to operate the processing plants that are to be built on site.

SUNfarming Food & Energy Madagaskar, 01/2020

SUNfarming Food & Energy Madagascar, 01/2020


Togo is one of the “Compact with Africa” countries that are particularly supported by the German BMZ. SUNfarming has therefore involved all institutes of the German Development Aid KfW / DEG, GIZ and the German Embassy from the very beginning.

(Foto left to right:
Vice President CCIT Remie Moevi, President CCIT Germain Méba, Marc Bidamon, Energy Minister Togo, Peter Schrum, SUNfarming, Tiem Bolidja, Energy Ministry responsible for EE, Prinz Lorenzo Koageh Director SUNfarming Togo, Kossi Amétépé, CCIT 2. Vice President GLE.)

20
Jan

Foundation stone for Food & Energy in Uganda

On 07. December, Rt.Hon.Gen(Rtd) Moses Ali, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda, solemnly laid the foundation for the first Food & Energy Training Center in Uganda.

Before the laying of the foundation stone, Rt. Hon.Gen. (Rtd.) Moses Ali visited our Food & Energy Training Center at the North-West University in Potchefstroom in South Africa to see with his own eyes. The Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Energy of Uganda already visited us in November 2019 and reported to the Prime Minister. The delegation consisted of the family members of Hon Gen (Rt) Mosis Ali and Prince Kimbugwe.

After the Food & Energy visit we went to CFAM and introduced our partner in food processing.
The Prime Minister was very pleased about our technology and wants to have Food & Energy for Uganda.

An extract from our project proposal to the government of Uganda

Outputs:
The aim is that both the local partners and SUNfarming define the most suitable program for trainings. However, we would like to suggest the following program, as a start:
Module 1: Basic Knowledge Renewable Energy
Module 2: Design and installation of Photovoltaics systems
Module 3: Economic efficiency models for Photovoltaics systems
Module 4: Battery systems
Module 5: E-mobility
Module 6: Food & Energy – plants, greenhouse and free field systems
Module 7: Food & Energy- irrigation, fertilization, control, monitoring
Module 8: Operation, maintenance, monitoring systems.
SUNfarming will realize the first trainings under the Train-The-Trainer principle. Where the local trainers will be responsible to organize and continue with further trainings under the supervision of SUNfarming.

Research activities
With Food & Energy, SUNfarming will establish a platform to develop several activities, where research is very important as the PV modules create a special environment under them that may not be suitable for some crops. Therefore, the main purpose of the research activities is to determine the most suitable crop for the local Food & Energy system and, in general, how to optimize agricultural production without compromising electricity production. Students that are carrying out their thesis or research groups can use the Food & Energy systems for experimentation and local professors would lead the research activities.

14
Oct

SF Food & Energy for Syrian Refugees

Near the Syrian border in Turkey, another SUNfarming Food & Energy training project is launched this month. The aim of this Food & Energy project in Osmaniye is to provide people with training with a future perspective.

On 2 ha of solar park, additional solar nets and barriers will be installed under the solar tables, allowing the keeping of free-range chickens. Trainings and jobs will be created for Syrian refugees in the fields of solar technology, electromobility and organic egg production. The training program consists of practical and theoretical lessons. The theory lesson takes place in a purpose-built training center. Directly connected to this complex is a shop which is also operated by trainees. Here, the agricultural products according to eu standard produced products , are sold directly and impart practical and theoretical business knowledge to trainees.

This project was made possible as a large PPP (Private Partnership Project) through the support of the BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), run by Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency.

“Education and jobs are being created, food supplies and sustainable energy production are contributing to a responsible, safe way of life and giving people here a future perspective for a later return to their homeland, explains Peter Schrum SUNfarming founder and main shareholder.
“We would like to thank DEG for making the” Blue Print ” for bigger investments in Syria possible with this large Food & Energy training facility, continues Peter Schrum.

For this project, special substructures and brackets were developed by our subsidiary SOLprime, which makes it possible to raise the solar tables up to 4 m. Working under the tables is thus easily and effectively possible. To protect the chickens, additional nets were installed between the solar tables. Special laying devices according to the EU Organic Regulation, designed by SUNfarming in cooperation with German laying hens specialists and transported in individual parts to Osmaniye, were already assembled in first training sessions by Syrian trainees.

2
Apr

SUNfarming Food & Energy provides emergency aid in Mozambique

The SUNfarming group from Erkner uses its years of experience in Africa and sends whole-food to the disaster area.

Tropical cyclone Idai has left a trail of devastation in southern Africa. In Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, around two million people are in urgent need of assistance. There is a lack of drinking water, food and medicines. Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi are among the poorest countries in the world. Where there used to be frequent drought, the few fertile fields are now under water. Rivers burst their banks, flash floods and landslides threaten settlements.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost everything. The situation is dramatic.

The ambassador for Food Security in Africa, Dr. Brylyne Chitsunge of the African Parliament in Johannesburg has asked for support from Peter Schrum as President of the BRM (Federal Association for Regenerative Mobility e.V.).
Fast, unbureaucratic help was required. With Peter Schrum, the phone was no longer quiet until all necessary steps for a first aid delivery were initiated.
SUNfarming and our South African Food & Energy partners from CFAM Technologies today ship the first 10 tons of food aid to Mozambique. Transport from South Africa is organized by Coca Cola and distributed by Mozambique’s Ministry for Disaster Management to children and the elderly in the crisis areas.
The aid package, funded by SUNfarming, CFAM and Botselo Holdings, consists of the dry product Pre-Cooked Porridge, which consists of corn, soy, grains, minerals and vitamins. With only 14 euro cents per day, two whole-meal meals ensure the life of a person.

As a SUNfarming Group and BRM, we are happy to provide the needy with fast food emergency aid“, explains Peter Schrum, President of BRM and SUNfarming Chairman. „We have already developed the first porridge whole-foods based on our Food & Energy Public Private Partnership project launched at KfW / DEG since 2013, at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. In addition to the vegetable and fish production under the solar modules in the training center, SF Porridge was provided in the townships to provide basic services to our staff and trainees. The existing partnership with CFAM Technologies, led by Prof LJ Grobler, has enabled our fast and efficient relief effort to be delivered to Mozambique. Today, through years of experience and networks in Africa, we are able to provide large quantities of whole foods in 1 and 10 kilo packages for disaster areas and the needy at very low cost in the short term.
Our first aid delivery is leaving South Africa today. 10 tonnes of whole foods ensure survival for 10,000 children for three weeks.
Should additional funding be available, we will immediately send more trucks with food to Mozambique within a few days, “so Peter Schrum.

12
Dec

First Hybrid Center for Renewable Energy in the Bahamas

The first SUNfarming/bioltec Hybrid Center for renewable electricity and renewable mobility in the Bahamas was inaugurated on 10th December.

The Bahamas Hybrid Center offers renewable electricity and renewable mobility combined with food production, all coupled to a one-site training programme – a very unique concept.
The German companies SUNfarming GmbH and bioltec systems GmbH , in cooperation with the Bahamian company 700 Islands Energy, have set up a hybrid center for renewable energies at the Windsor High School in Albany, Nassau.This project is part of the worldwide dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative.

More than 40 political, business and university guests attended the opening ceremony on the campus of Windsor High School.
After the opening speech by Peter Schrum, company founder and main shareholder of SUNfarming, guests had the opportunity to visit the center, accompanied by knowledgeable experts who gladly answered all questions.

In this Hybrid Center, a greenhouse with roof integrated photovoltaic panels, electricity is generated from sunlight, while vegetables, fruits, flowers or medicinal herbs are grown indoors with high yield. The integration of renewable energy into a combined heat and power plant generates electricity and hot water at the same time. A smart grid management system makes the power together with a battery storage as a 24/7 stand-alone solution and / or grid-connected. Electric and fuel vehicles clearly demonstrate renewable mobility.
At the same time, SUNfarming and bioltec are striving to promote climate and resource protection, to shorten regional value chains, to provide energy, to create jobs and ultimately to increase the quality of life sustainably. The competencies of both companies have been integrated into the design. Demonstration, training, application and technology transfer of proven leading-edge technologies are the keywords for this “Bahamian – German Hybrid Center”. In addition, it provides the foundation for future collaborative research and development, including business models for commercial applications. The partners bring together different systems integration technologies, whether for off grid or grid-connected applications that are adaptable to local conditions and customer needs.

Learn more about the project