Imagine being able to sell the plants you grow in your own greenhouse for €571 per kilo. This looks good, doesn’t it? Vanilla is appreciated this spring and can be grown in a greenhouse.
Israeli greenhouse grower Azrom wants to help farmers enter this market and offers a complete package, including technical and market guidance. Greenhouse grown vanilla is a new product that has yet to find its way to the market.
Traditional vanilla cultivation has changed in recent years. “Vanilla-producing areas around the world (particularly in the forests of Madagascar and Indonesia) are experiencing climate change and there is a significant shortage of vanilla for the food, perfume and aromatherapy sectors,” said Zviki Porat from Azrum.
The price is very high and continues to increase. The company has been researching in this direction and over the past two years has looked into the technical problems of agriculture required to grow vanilla in a greenhouse. “This can significantly shorten the growth period and provide better commercial yields for agriculture.”
ROI less than 5 years
He calculated that the current price of vanilla was $700 per kilo at the end of May. “There is no doubt that this is one of the most expensive plants sold worldwide. With the help of farmers who have grown vanilla in greenhouses, we can now figure out what it takes to grow vanilla and the growing time is around 50%,” said Zviki. “If we use this knowledge to design a greenhouse, the yield is expected to be 10 tonnes per hectare per year (dry vanilla). Of course, it will take time to develop new products in a way that meets market demands, but we expect to achieve a return on investment within five years.”
This ROI is clearly critical to the success of the project, especially with a new product like greenhouse grown vanilla. “There’s been a lot of talk about medicinal cannabis and the expected returns from successfully growing this plant, but people quickly forget that it’s hard to beat,” Zwicky added. “With vanilla, on the other hand, employers don’t have to mobilize regulators, police and health organizations. So the initial investment is also much lower, the current spending is lower and the investment risk is also lower.”
Because they believe in this crop and want to develop the market, they have put together a complete package for farmers and investors, including technical and commercial support and started a business feasibility study. The package also includes agro-design, customized with vanilla, delivery and construction of a turnkey greenhouse project, accompanying equipment in the greenhouse, and delivery of vanilla seeds.
For successful farming, there is also post-harvest farming guidance and advice, as well as drying and packaging facility planning. Once the product is ready, packaging is important for entering the market. So business contacts are also shared in order to reach vanilla end users.
“During 60 years of existence, Azrom has always been part of our DNA to seek innovative directions to develop viable solutions that have not existed in the industry in which we thrive. As with medical marijuana, we now want to be the leader and market leader with Vanilla,” Zwicky concluded.