Food & Energy

4
Jun

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 kayaker at this year's 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 kayak 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.

3
May

SUNfarming in Corfu – Green energy for the green island

In the south of the island, in Marathias Beach, at the family hotel Villa KaliMeera, a 12 kWp SF Food & Energy Lounge was installed, which in the future will serve hotel guests on 100 m² as a shade and relaxation zone with hammocks between fruit and vegetable plants.
In the Hotel Honigtal in the north of the island, in Agios Georgios, a 13 kWp system was installed parallel to the roof, which with an annual yield of approx. 19,000 kWh completely covers the electrical energy requirements of the location.

Corfu is one of the greenest islands in Greece due to its fertile vegetation. But there is also something going on in terms of sustainability. A team from SUNfarming GmbH was able to successfully commission two photovoltaic systems on the Greek island in April 2021. The atmosfair cooperation project was actively supported by the German tour operator ReNatour and hotel manager Aias Varagoulis and his team.


In the SF Food & Energy lounge at Villa KaliMeera, a water-saving drip hose system is being laid to irrigate tomatoes, cucumbers and other local plants, the fruits of which are available to hotel guests as a fresh snack to pick themselves.

The calculated annual energy yield is around 16,500 kWh, one third of which can be purchased directly and two thirds can be used indirectly via a net metering billing system.

The tour operator ReNatour from Nuremberg designs the trips offered as climate and resource neutral as possible and the CO2 emissions caused by the journey can also be neutralized by the guests in cooperation with atmosfair gGmbH. The non-profit climate protection organization with a focus on "travel" supports the implementation of projects with donations that effectively reduce the emission of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions and promote the long-term retention of carbon dioxide - including this SUNfarming project in Corfu.

What the locations were still missing in order to become more climate-neutral is the electrical energy supply through renewable energies, according to Aias. Since the inadequate use of renewable energies in Greece makes it virtually impossible to purchase green electricity from the grid, the only alternative is to produce on-site solar energy with photovoltaic systems. Thanks to the cooperation between SUNfarming and atmosfair, this goal has now been achieved and two PV systems with a total capacity of 25 kWp have been installed, which from now on take over 100% of the electrical energy supply for the hotels.

With the help of the new Greek net metering system, the energy that is not directly consumed is fed into the public power grid, registered by the network operator and drawn back from the grid as an equivalent at a later point in time as required. In this way, the seasonal operation can mathematically fall back on year-round sustainably generated energy. With this concept, the public grid functions as a gigantic virtual energy storage system and has the advantage over stationary PV storage systems of unlimited storage capacity and duration as well as the avoidance of additional investments. The fee incurred per kilowatt hour removed is a few cents and is below the specific costs per kilowatt hour stored by market-leading lithium-ion storage systems.
In this way, the existing solar potential, which in Greece is up to 1500 kWh / kWp / a at up to 150% of the German level, can be used particularly effectively and sensibly.

With this concept, SUNfarming supports climate-neutral travel in sunny holiday regions and promotes a conscious approach to the environment in the tourism industry.

10
Mar

SUNfarming participated successfully in the EnergyDecentral Expo 2021

SUNfarming together with the Forschungszentrum Jülich had a virtual stand. More than 200 visitors from different parts of the world, took a look to our brochures and had virtual meetings with the staff of SUNfarming.

Because of the current situation this expo had its first edition in a digital format.

The EnergyDecentral is a trade fair, that normally takes place in Hanover. It is the leading trade fair for decentralized energy supply. The exhibition also focuses on the areas of biogenic solid fuels, wind power and smart energy. The trade fair is complemented by a top-class specialist program, which, in addition to a multi-day conference, and numerous specialist forums.
The core target group of EnergyDecentral Expo Hanover are operators of systems for energy generation, the municipal economy and the food industry. Due to its proximity to the agricultural sector and the EuroTier taking place at the same time, EnergyDecentral is also aimed at companies from professional agriculture.

Mr. Holger Schoenherr, Head of International Projects in SUNfarming GmbH and Dr. Matthias Meier from Forschungszentrum Jülich presented the conference “Agriculture and Research in Agri-Photovoltaic Systems”. Where the outstanding results of our SUNfarming Food & Energy training centers were shown, as well as the new development and research that the two institutions are doing together. The conference was attended by an international audience of more than 40 participants.

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.