An indoor farm supplied by UCS will be used for training purposes by PTI Kortrijk to train students to become indoor farmers

Indoor farming solutions provider Urban Crop Solutions (UCS) and the Provincial Technical Institute (PTI) in the Belgian city of Kortrijk have agreed to collaborate on a new training scheme.

Urban Crop Solutions indoor farming training Belgium

The scheme will see an indoor farm supplied by UCS used for training purposes by PTI Kortrijk to train students with the skills required to become indoor farmers.

”It is becoming apparent that as indoor farming systems advance and become more popular and commercial, that they are here to stay as an additional agricultural method,” UCS stated. ”It is therefore imperative that the operators of indoor farms are properly educated and trained in order to capitalise on and extract the maximum value from any investment in an indoor farm.”

UCS said that it had learned over the past years that operating an indoor farm was not as easy as some believed, and it was therefore important that operators were well trained in plant growth, as well as in the operation of the mechanical and electrical parts of an indoor farm.

With the new partnership, the Technical Institute and UCS hope to contribute to filling the gap for indoor farm operators.

“We are very honoured that Urban Crop Solutions has chosen to be so generous to partner with us,” said Leen Claus, deputy director for Campus Science and Agriculture at PTI Kortrijk.

“It was always clear for us that operating an indoor farm is a unique but engaging craft as it is like a combination of operating a normal farm and operating a factory,” Claus continued. ”With the possibility to leverage the expertise and leadership within the commercial indoor farming industry of Urban Crop Solutions, we are convinced that we will be activating a new generation of leaders to drive innovative and sustainable farms. Innovation and cooperation with external partners are important pillars in the vision of our school.”

“Our service technicians feel the gap emerging in educated personnel in the indoor farming community as more indoor farms arise,” explained Maarten Vandecruys, CTO of Urban Crop Solutions.

”In some circumstances, we have to take over the operation of an indoor farm until our client finds the right personnel to manage their indoor farm,” he noted. ”The partnership with PTI gives us the possibility to send students from the institute to our clients for internships, and to eventually launch their careers in this promising new industry.”

Jean Pierre Coene, CEO of Urban Crop Solutions added: “This partnership for us is also an opportunity to give something back to a region whose broad and historical expertise in farming and machine building we have been leveraging.”