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AQGRI+ is a Dutch Start-up company operating in Biobased sector by offering package of services consisting the designing, building, and operation of waste-to-values technologies such as the VermiPonics technology and its product sales management to solve climate, water, waste, and food security issues. With this business idea, AQGRI+ became the Winner of the 1st place of International Climate Adaptation Business Challenge 2014 by Knowledge for Climate and the Top 6 Finalists of the World Bank Group Youth Summit 2015 by the World Bank.
VermiPonics is a technology that integrates Vermicomposting and Aquaponics under one system to maximise resources use efficiency and production per m2. In total, the VermiPonics system generates five products: Vermicompost, Worms, Compost tea, Fish, and Vegetables. These products can either be sold directly to consumers and/or recycled back within the system to reduce feed cost and optimise production (e.g. Worms can be used as fish feed and Compost Tea can be added to the aquaculture water to enrich the water). The innovation of the VermiPonics technologies lies in the integration between two proven technologies and the operational management behind the system to maximise resources use efficiency and production per m2. With the VermiPonics technology, AQGRI+ has the ambition to advance towards circular and biobased economy to address the climate, water scarcity, waste management, and food scarcity issues.
AQGRI+ is currently setting up its VermiPonics pilot system in the North Holland for the purpose of Product Development of the system, together with an organisation named Youmanitas Energy Farms. The aim has always been to bring this knowledge on VermiPonics for application in developing and emerging countries under a Franchise model, together with an International Organisation called WASTE (www.waste.nl) and FINISH Society (http://www.finishsociety.org/).
Franchise model is a means of replication for VermiPonics. Standardisation is a key to scalability and profitability when working with Base of Pyramid market in developing countries. AQGRI+ NL will be responsible for Business in a Box package development that includes technology, business model, training modules, etc. AQGRI+ local offices in developing countries will need to pay annual license fee to AQGRI+ NL and be the entities that select, train, and support franchisees in local countries. With Franchise model, it allows replication of VermiPonics system, within a country, using a standardised approach.