TAIPEI, Taiwan, Dec. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- It doesn't look like your typical farm, irrigation piping snakes across rows of plants neatly organized across the concrete floors of a former chicken farm. Nor are they typical farmers.
Five years ago, Volker Chen and George Hu established Verdancy in response to the growing imbalance of rural and urban development. "Society prioritizes industrial values, and rural life has grown increasingly impoverished. What if we offer a solution, where people can earn a good living and stay close to their family?" says Hu. They began by integrating their agricultural knowledge with urban resources, bringing together investment matchmaking, marketing, and trade experience into a new sustainable business model.
In 2013, Hu raised US $1.5 million and started a 2 hectare pilot project in an abandoned chicken farm in north Taiwan. They recruited four people, all with zero farming experience to start. "We wanted to prove that our system can work for anyone," Chen says proudly.
"Most of our friends in the city are not happy. It's obvious, low income and high costs for everything. If you had the choice, who wouldn't want to make money in their hometown and be with family?" said August Hong, one of the farmers. The three farmers working in Verdancy's tidy greenhouse enthusiastically add: "Now that we have the farming skills, and with Verdancy as our marketing and investment team, we feel confident we can keep growing!"
In just two years, the four farm rookies learned to grow tomatoes, strawberries, turmeric, dragon fruit, and more. One has since started his own independent farm. Two others formed a new Verdancy cluster "Million Farmers." More recruits now learn these novel and efficient farming methods to take on new projects.
"We turn wasted factories and barren lands into profitable planting fields," says Hu. Instead of traditional land farming, Verdancy uses nonwoven bags for grow beds. Each plant grows individually to prevent contagious disease or soil contamination. In addition, under the guidance of Taipei Medical University professor Han Bor-Cheng, known as the father of detox diets in the Chinese community, Verdancy focuses on plants with the highest medicinal and economic value in Chinese medicine.
"When we change farmers' lives, we change the world." This is the first thing Verdancy tells their stakeholders. To make this dream a reality, Verdancy integrated Taiwan's best biological, pathologic and agricultural expertise. The backbone of this success comes from the support of the renowned "Plant Dr." Tsay Tung-tsuan, also known as the savior of agriculture in China and Taiwan. He developed unique bio-technology and techniques to protect plants' root systems. "Healthy roots lead to healthy plants; healthy plants lead to bigger yields and more money!" Wise words from the plant doctor.
Verdancy co-founder Chen spent 5 years as a disciple of Dr. Tsay, and has helped turn Tsay's biological formula and experience into a step-by-step "Efficient Farming Guide for Dummies" for various plants. From seeding, planting, fertilizing to harvesting, following this guide, anyone can learn farming. In addition, Verdancy emphasizes their products' safety and high quality. All Verdancy farmed goods must pass the highest international standards. And they have earned various certifications verifying they are pesticide residue free.
Today, Verdancy is working with different partners in 5 different cities in Asia, and has consulted on dozens of agriculture projects. Their newest projects, farming off grid, explores emission-free operations with solar micro-grids. For more information, please visit: www.verdancy.company