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Vertical Farms with Unified Soil

A vertical farm with unified soil allows you to grow not only lettuce, but also crops that need massive roots - for example eggplant.

Photo of Jacob Bizehr
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Technobank of Georgia

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Many organizations and farmers are ready to cooperation with us. For example " Biological Agriculture" , "AgroCauasus" and others.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The surroundings of Tbilisi or Imereti is a region in Georgia, which occupies 7000 square kilometers with a population of 500,000 people.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

The whole territory of Georgia meets your criteria, since the official area of our country is 69,000 km ^ 2.
Our team can implement this project in two regions - Tbilisi or Imereti, because according to the second criterion, two members of our team have small land in Imereti, and the other two live in Tbilisi.
If you think that Imereti is far for communication, then we will implement this project in Tbilisi.

The main problem in our country   is land shortage. Most families have land no more than half a hectare - hence they are very poor. 

Therefore, the best way to increase the land area is through vertical gardens made of cheap materials - plastic waste for example.    

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Tbilisi is a city where a dialogue of cultures took place a long time ago.

As early as the 12th century, a synagogue, a mosque, Orthodox and Gregorian churches stood side by side in Tbilisi.

Such religious tolerance was appreciated even by the Muslim rulers of Jerusalem.

Only Georgians had the right to enter Jerusalem on horseback with open flags with crosses.

All others should have dismounted.

Such a variety of cultures and religions has survived to the present day. It affects the kitchen too. In Tbilisi, you can try the Armenian tolma, Azerbaijani sauté, Georgian Satsivi, Khinkali, etc.
In the vicinity of Tbilisi, gardening and vegetable growing are very developed, which supplies the city with vegetables and fruits.  

The problems of these industries are low intensity and productivity, especially in winter, since gas and other fuel for heating greenhouses is very expensive.

From ancient times, Imeretins were known for their intelligence and aristocracy. 

This region has never been rich, since the lands here are loamy and therefore low-yielding. But the kitchen is very original and tasty. 

Guests especially enjoy eggplant with peanut sauce, wild herb salads, Imereti khachapuri, etc. 

To this day, this region is predominantly agricultural.  Due to lack of land, most of the population is forced to go to temporary work in the capital of Georgia or abroad. The local population hopes for the development of local industry and high-tech agriculture. Our innovation meets the expectations and aspirations in this direction.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

According to UN forecasts, the total world population by the end of 2050 will reach 9.7 billion people, compared to 7.7 billion people today.

So far, only hydroponics is ready for this challenge, which can produce 30 times more lettuce and greens per square meter compared to conventional methods.

But probably it will not be enough if the diet of people will consist only of lettuce and herbs.

The human body needs a more varied diet.

It is our system of vertical farms that allows us to grow the whole variety of vegetables at least 10 times more per square meter than with a conventional farming system.

Moreover, this technology does not require large expenditures. Farm blocks are made from plastic waste and they do not require an expensive steel frame. Pillars are also made of plastic.

So this technology is best suited to the challenges of 2050 in the field of food.

In the current 2020, our main challenge is the implementation of this project.
Despite the attractiveness of the idea, many are skeptical and say: if it were so simple they would have come up with 50 years ago instead of hydroponics.
But many experts claim that our innovation has great potential.

So our main goal at this stage is to build an experimental vertical garden and test its suitability. 

Despite the simplicity and obviousness, this technology is recognized as innovative by international experts. It became the winner of two international competitions, and the finalist of five more. Innovative are the grooves on the blocks that replace the expensive steel frame, as well as partitions and the shape of the bottom, which ensure the unity of the soil. Several different configurations of such a green fence are possible, and each of them has patentable know-how.  All of them are in the process of patenting.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

In our opinion, our technology covers several points of this competition.

 It reduces pressure on the environment - as the area of cultivated soil increases vertically. Thus, it is not necessary to plow new soils horizontally - there is no need to cut down forests, develop reserved fields, etc.

Our vertical gardens diversify the diet of many people, since vegetables such as bell pepper or brussels sprouts will become cheaper and more affordable.

Our technology also saves fuel for heating greenhouses, as it will be possible to grow 10-15 times more vegetables in one greenhouse.

Technologically, too - our innovation is a breakthrough, etc.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Our technology will eradicate poverty in many regions. 

Productivity will increase 10-15 times, income too. 

The diet will become more diverse and healthy, etc.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

As noted above, our innovation covers almost all areas of this challenge.

It also has an environmental component. Blocks for vertical gardens will be made of plastic waste. In this way, trash will turn into vertical arable land. The oceans, forests, fields and rivers will be cleared of plastic debris.

The design of the vertical garden does not require a steel frame, so that additional greenhouse gas emissions are not required for the production of additional steel.

This technology also saves the fuel needed to heat greenhouses. On one square meter of the greenhouse, it will be possible to grow 10 times more of such expensive crops as bell pepper or eggplant. In winter, they are expensive precisely because of the price of fuel for heating.
Thus, not only fuel consumption but also the cost of production will be reduced. Expensive vegetables will become cheaper even in winter and they will become available to poorer segments of the population. 

The diet of many poor families will become more diverse in the winter too.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email
  • Website


Join the conversation:

Photo of Andrea Vaz-König

Hi Jacob! Welcome to the Food Systems Vision Prize! We look forward to deep dive into your vision! All the best!

Photo of Jacob Bizehr

Hello Andrea

Thank you for your interest.
I hope you enjoy this project.

All the Best

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Jacob Biezehr  Great to see you joining the Prize!

We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Prize. Even if you've not started populating your Vision just yet, by publishing your submission you can make it public for other teams in your region to see, get in touch and possibly even collaborate with you.

You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your Vision at any time before 31 January 2020 by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. If you need inspiration or guidance, take a look at the Food Vision Prize Toolkit.
Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit:

Look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming weeks.

Photo of Jacob Bizehr

Dear Itika

I am very glad that you were interested in my project and thank you for your attention.

I thought it would be impossible to update the application after publication.

I read the toolkit and now try to write in accordance with the criteria given there.

I hope that I succeed and my application deserves your support.

Best Regards