Different from other indoor farming models, her new vertical farms use a special stone that holds the key to what was envisioned by Hugo as a dream to provide more affordable, high-quality vegetables for every family.

No path to success is ever easy. No rosy path to success exists, and the journey is often filled with hard work, dedication, and determination. It takes a combination of these qualities, and often more, to achieve success. There will be obstacles along the way, but with a strong will and perseverance, those challenges can be overcome and the goal can be reached.

Hugo has extensive experience in agroscience, holding a PhD in environmental chemistry from Sydney University and completing a post-doctoral fellowship on pesticide residues in Southeast Asian food chains. His in-depth knowledge of the field makes him an invaluable asset to any research team.

When working on environmental accounting for big mining and agriculture companies in Australia and China, she encountered a particular rock – one so unique that it has become Orlar’s technology secret and is now known as Orlarock.

Orlarock is an ideal replacement for soil in vertical systems, often referred to as ‘pods’. This innovative material is designed to provide superior drainage and aeration, while also helping to reduce the risk of root diseases. Orlarock is used to promote healthy root development, increased yields, and improved plant health. It is lightweight and easy to handle, making it an ideal choice for any gardening project.

Lyndal Hugo (left) and Amanda Cornelissen are seen smiling in a photo at their high-tech farm in Lac Duong district, Lam Dong province. The two entrepreneurs have successfully combined technology with farming to produce high-quality crops in the area. The image showcases the two of them in front of the farm, highlighting their remarkable success. With their innovative approach and hard work, they have become a symbol of progress in the region.

Lyndal Hugo (left) and Amanda Cornelissen are seen in a photo at their high-technology farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Orlar

Using our secret method of treatment, the ‘Orlarock’ can capture all the added nutrients, resist disease, prevent crushing in vertical arrangements, and maintain the optimal amount of water, resulting in healthier growth without disease. This revolutionary technique ensures that the ‘Orlarock’ is kept in optimal condition, enabling it to thrive in its environment. With its robust and hardy nature, this remarkable plant can survive and flourish in many different climates and soil types. Not only does this make it an ideal choice for gardeners looking for a reliable and low-maintenance plant, but it also provides an excellent source of food for a variety of animals and humans.

Orlarock ensures that the company’s products are free of contaminants that are often found in local soil. This allows the company to produce safe and quality products that can be trusted by customers. Additionally, Orlarock can also help reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and other health issues associated with contaminated soil.

Along with their water-holding and thermal insulation properties, the rocks in the pods offer a home for trillions of beneficial microbes. These microscopic organisms help maintain the health of the planet’s soil and water, making them an essential part of the ecosystem.

Orlarock can be reused indefinitely, crop after crop, making it an incredibly economical technology. With no need to purchase new products or materials, this sustainable solution can be used time and again, providing an efficient and cost-effective means of crop production.

With unwavering belief in the potential of Orlarock, Hugo and his wife, Amanda Cornelissen, conducted rigorous testing in the lab and in the field before launching their operations in Vietnam in 2017.

Combining Cornelissen’s expertise as a horticulturist with Hugo’s ideas, the two set out to cultivate the purest, most nutritious food while providing safe and secure job opportunities for economically disadvantaged local and ethnic minority people.

Harvesting bok-choi at Orlar farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, is a vivid sight. Harvesting bok-choi at Orlar farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province. Photo: Hong Van / Tuoi TreThe image of farmers diligently harvesting the vegetable in the fields is captured in a beautiful photograph taken by Hong Van for Tuoi Tre.

Harvesting bok-choi at an Orlar farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hong Van / Tuoi Tre

“We sold our abode and invested our savings into forming a team of both foreigners and locals to construct our first prototype facility in Ho Chi Minh City,” Hugo recollected.

Back then, we had no inkling of the journey we were about to embark upon.

It was US$600 for two one-way tickets home back then. But for years, we never had more than that amount of money in the bank …

We resided in a small tin shack with dirt floors, pouring a bucketful of water over our heads to use as a makeshift shower.

After overcoming numerous hurdles, including the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021, government grants were awarded for the technology Hugo discovered, including a €350,000 ($369,000) grant together with an SNV technical assistance package that the Dutch Fund for Climate Development’s Origination Facility Investment Committee approved for Orlar Vietnam on December 14, 2020.

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Orlar Farms produces up to 20 tons of vegetables per hectare per month. The company has roughly 20,000 towers, two meters tall each, with 20 plants grown in each pod.

It does this by using a network of pipes, valves, emitters and other components that deliver water to the plant roots.

A drip irrigation system is an efficient and effective way to provide plants with the exact amount of water they need. This type of system uses a network of pipes, valves, emitters, and other components to deliver water directly to the roots of the plants. By controlling the amount of water being delivered, it helps to ensure that the plants receive the right amount of moisture for optimal growth and development. Additionally, the use of drip irrigation systems can help to reduce water waste and conserve resources by delivering water directly to the plants rather than over-watering areas that don’t need it.

This saves up to 95% of the water used compared to other traditional farming methods. With this innovative approach, farmers can conserve precious resources while still achieving their desired yields.

To compare, Mekong rice uses 2,500 liters of water per kilogram, while Orlar food needs just 30 liters, while generating four times the revenue per kilogram.

Vertical farming, with 20 plants grown in each two-meter-high stack or ‘pod,’ is an incredibly space-efficient solution. This type of farming allows for the production of a large quantity of produce in a relatively small area, making it a great option for land-strapped urban areas. Additionally, it eliminates the need for pesticides and herbicides, as well as being more energy-efficient than traditional farming methods. Vertical farming also reduces water waste, as it can recycle up to 90% of the water used. Furthermore, vertical farming is capable of growing produce in any season, making it a reliable source of food year-round. Ultimately, vertical farming is an innovative and sustainable solution to the issue of food scarcity.

The plants in the picture are grown in a vertical system, with 20 plants flourishing in each two-meter tall pod. This innovative approach to growing plants allows for maximum efficiency and productivity in a limited amount of space. The photo captures the beauty of this system, as the lush plants are seen growing in the tall pods. This is an excellent example of how modern technology can help us to better our environment and make the most of limited resources.

The plants are grown in the vertical system, with 20 plants grown in each two-meter-tall pod. Photo: Hong Van / Tuoi Tre

The system was designed to significantly reduce the use of various inputs such as substrate, synthetic chemicals, and artificial lighting.

The company forgoes using disposable growing media and reportedly utilizes just 0.05% of the energy of other vertical farming operations.

Thus, Orlar can produce temperate crops at an affordable price of between $1 and $4 per kilogram for the middle-class markets.

The firm currently has over 26 different crops in production, and will soon expand its portfolio to include eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, and melons, among other crops.

We measure our impact by the number of residue tests. So far, we’ve had 100% clean tests – with no residues found in hundreds of tests, Hugo proudly announced.

Orlar products are supplied to an extensive range of establishments in Vietnam, including more than 280 hotels and restaurants, as well as over 90 supermarkets, grocery stores, and distributors. This ensures that customers have access to these premium products in various locations across the country.

For Hugo and Orlar products, being placed on supermarket shelves means that more people have access to clean, nutritious food, with potentially huge health and social benefits. By making these items readily available, people can make healthier choices and follow a more balanced diet, helping to reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related illnesses. Additionally, by providing these products in an accessible and affordable way, it can help to promote a more equitable food system, allowing people of all backgrounds to enjoy the same quality of food.

Orlar is on a mission to make organic produce that is free from any kind of contaminants accessible to Vietnam and the region using low-energy vertical farming. By utilizing this innovative farming technique, it is possible to maximize crop yield while also minimizing environmental impact. The vertical farming technique requires less energy and space, allowing for more efficient crop production. Additionally, it reduces the risk of contamination, as the crops are grown in a contained and sealed environment. With this system, Orlar can provide organic produce that is free from any kind of contaminants to the people of Vietnam and the region.

The company is already forming licensing agreements for Thailand, the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, and Cambodia, among other nations.

We will create the world’s most profitable, ethical, and sustainable food supply chain growing the highest quality temperate vegetables in the lowlands of Southeast Asia. It’s an ambitious vision, but we have achieved much more difficult tasks before,” the scientist expressed her ambition emphatically.

Pursuing this dream was not just a job for Hugo and her spouse – they wanted to immerse themselves in the country they love by caring for its people, especially those who work hard on the Orlar Farms every day. Through their dedication and commitment, they have made a profound impact on the people and the land of Orlar.

“The team deserves all the praise. They are so remarkable. I have only done five percent of the work, but I’m the most visible. I’m the loudest,” Hugo declared about the people who support her dream.

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Dr. Lyndal Hugo, co-founder of Orlar, a women-led business based in Vietnam, has a vision of providing Vietnamese families with clean, healthy, and nutritious food from her organic farms in the Southeast Asian nation. Through her company, she strives to make a positive difference in the lives of the people in the country, and to create a healthier and more sustainable environment. By sourcing organic ingredients and using eco-friendly farming methods, she is helping to ensure that the country’s food supply is safe and nutritious for generations to come.

Different from other indoor farming models, her innovative vertical farms use a special type of rock that holds the key to what was designed as Hugo’s dream: to provide more affordable and high-quality vegetables for every family.

No rosy path to success lies ahead of us; it is instead a long and arduous journey that requires hard work and dedication. We must be willing to put in the effort, sacrifice our time, and take risks in order to reach our goals. There may be obstacles along the way, but with perseverance and resilience, we can overcome any challenge. With a positive attitude and a never-give-up mentality, we can achieve our dreams and become successful.

Hugo has an impressive background in agroscience, holding a PhD in environmental chemistry from Sydney University and a post-doctoral fellowship focusing on pesticide residues in Southeast Asian food chains. His qualifications make him uniquely qualified for the role.

When working on environmental accounting for big mining and agriculture companies in Australia and China, she encountered a particular rock – Orlarock – which is the technology secret of Orlar.

Orlarock is an effective medium to replace soil in vertical systems, known as “pods.” It is an innovative and cost-efficient solution for efficient growth of plants, providing an ideal balance of air and water retention, as well as superior drainage. Additionally, using Orlarock ensures that plants are protected from pests, diseases, and even extreme weather conditions. Moreover, its lightweight nature allows it to be easily handled and transported, making it an ideal choice for vertical systems.

Lyndal Hugo (left) and Amanda Cornelissen are pictured at their state-of-the-art farm in Lac Duong district, Lam Dong province in the image above. The two entrepreneurs are making waves with their innovative approach to farming and are a testament to the potential of modern agricultural technologies. Their success is an inspiration to other farmers around the world who are looking to maximize their yields and maximize their profits.

Lyndal Hugo (left) and Amanda Cornelissen are seen in a photo at their high-technology farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Orlar

Using our secret method of treatment, the ‘Orlarock’ can capture all the essential nutrients, protect against disease, prevent crushing in vertical arrangements, and maintain the ideal amount of water, thus leading to healthy growth without any health issues.

Orlarock enables companies to ensure that their products are free from the contaminants commonly found in local soil. As a result, businesses are able to provide customers with high quality and safe products, while ensuring that their operations are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Additionally, Orlarock can help companies reduce their costs and minimize their environmental impact.

Along with the water-holding and thermal insulation properties of the rocks in the pods, these rocks become a home to trillions of beneficial microbes. Not only do they provide a safe and secure habitat, but they also play an essential role in the surrounding ecosystem. The microbes help to break down organic matter, allowing nutrients to be released into the environment and promoting the growth of healthy vegetation. Additionally, they can also help to filter pollutants from the environment, making the area more habitable for other living organisms.

Orlarock can be reused indefinitely, crop after crop, making it an incredibly cost-effective technology. Not only does it save money in the long run, but it also reduces the amount of fresh material needed for future harvests. This makes Orlarock an environmentally friendly and economically sensible choice for farmers around the world.

With a strong belief in the potential of Orlarock, Hugo and his wife, Amanda Cornelissen, launched their operations in Vietnam in 2017 after thorough testing both in the lab and in the field.

Combining Cornelissen’s expertise as a horticulturist with Hugo’s ideas, the two sought to generate the purest, freshest, and most nutritious food while offering secure, clean jobs to low-income locals and ethnic-minority people.

Harvesting bok-choi at Orlar farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, is an activity that has been around for generations. Pictured here is an image of this traditional activity, captured by Hong Van of Tuoi Tre. The picture shows locals harvesting the leafy vegetables in the lush greenery of the farm. This image beautifully captures the connection between the land and its people.

Harvesting bok-choi at an Orlar farm in Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Hong Van / Tuoi Tre

“We sold our abode and invested our savings in constructing a team of both international and local professionals to form our initial pilot facility in Ho Chi Minh City,” Hugo reminisced.

Back then, we had no inkling of the journey we were about to embark on.

It was US$600 for two one-way tickets home back then. But for years, we never had more than that in the bank… Sadly, we had to wait and save until we could afford to make the journey.

We lived in a humble tin shed, with dirt floors and no modern appliances. To bathe, we had to tip a bucket over our heads.

After overcoming numerous hurdles, including the COVID-19 lockdown in 2021, government grants were awarded for the technology Hugo discovered, including a €350,000 ($369,000) grant along with an SNV technical assistance package. This was approved by the Dutch Fund for Climate Development’s Origination Facility Investment Committee for Orlar Vietnam on December 14, 2020.

of people around the world, we need to build a platform that works for everyone. Our mission is to create a digital infrastructure that allows people to access the services they need, when they need them. We strive to empower individuals and organizations to realize their ambitions, no matter who they are or where they are located. We are committed to building a future where everyone can thrive and succeed, with the help of technology.

To Serve Billions of People Around the World, we are building a platform that works for everyone. Our mission is to Construct a Digital Infrastructure that enables people to access the services they need, whenever they need them. We are dedicated to Empowering Individuals and Organizations to achieve their goals, regardless of who they are or where they are located. We are determined to Fostering a Future in which everyone can flourish and succeed, with the help of technology.

Orlar Farms produce an impressive 20 tons of vegetables per hectare every month! With 20,000 towers, each standing two meters tall, the company is able to cultivate an impressive 400,000 plants in total.

A drip irrigation system is an effective way to provide plants with the precise amount of water they need. By using a series of tubes, valves, and emitters, this system slowly delivers a controlled stream of water directly to the roots of the plants, eliminating water waste and providing the optimal amount of hydration.

This saves up to 95% of the water used in comparison with other traditional farming methods.

To compare, Mekong rice uses 2,500 liters of water per kilogram, while Orlar food needs just 30 liters, yet generates four times the revenue per kilogram.

Vertical farming, with 20 plants grown in each two-meter-high stack or ‘pod,’ is an incredibly space-efficient way of cultivating crops. This method of farming saves valuable land, enabling more produce to be grown in a smaller area and with fewer resources. Furthermore, by controlling the environment, such as light, temperature, and humidity, it is possible to create the ideal conditions for plants to grow, resulting in higher yields and better quality produce. With vertical farming, crops are grown in a closed-loop system, meaning that water, fertilizer, and pesticides can be recycled, reducing the need for additional inputs and resulting in a more sustainable farming system.

The The plants are grown in the vertical system, with 20 plants grown in each two-meter tall pod. Photo: Hong Van  / Tuoi Tre depicts a vertical growing system where up to 20 plants can be grown in each two-meter tall pod. This innovative approach to farming has been pioneered by Hong Van of Tuoi Tre, potentially revolutionizing the agricultural industry.

The plants are grown in the vertical system, with 20 plants grown in each two-meter-tall pod. Photo: Hong Van / Tuoi Tre

The system was designed to greatly decrease the use of various inputs such as substrate, synthetic chemicals, and artificial lighting.

The company uses no disposable growing media and reportedly utilizes only 0.05 percent of the energy required by other vertical farming operations.

Thus, Orlar can produce temperate crops at an affordable price of $1 to $4 per kilogram for the middle-class markets.

The firm currently has more than 26 different crops in production and will expand its portfolio to include eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, and melons, among other crops.

We measure our impact by the number of residue tests. So far, we’ve had 100% clean testszero residues in hundreds of tests,” Hugo proudly announced.

Orlar products are supplied to an extensive network of 280+ hotels and restaurants in Vietnam, as well as over 90 supermarkets, grocery stores, and distributors. With such widespread availability, customers can easily find and purchase Orlar’s high-quality products across the country.

For Hugo and Orlar, having their products on supermarket shelves means that more people can enjoy the benefits of clean eating – which will have a significant impact on their health and social wellbeing.

Orlar is on a mission to make high-quality, contaminant-free organic produce accessible using low-energy vertical farming for Vietnam and the surrounding region. By leveraging advanced hydroponic technologies, Orlar is committed to creating a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way of growing fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables.

The company is already in the process of forming licensing agreements with Thailand, the Netherlands, Australia, the U.S., and Cambodia, among other nations.

We are determined to create a highly lucrative, ethical, and eco-friendly food supply chain that produces the finest temperate vegetables in the Southeast Asian lowlands. This ambitious goal is certainly achievable; after all, we have accomplished bigger tasks before.

Pursuing this dream was not just about work for Hugo and her spouse; they wanted to immerse themselves in the country they love by taking care of the people, especially the hardworking individuals at Orlar Farms.

“The team deserves all the attention they get; they are so incredible. I have done my fair share too, contributing just five percent of the work; however, I’m the most visible, the loudest one,” Hugo declared, referring to the people who have supported her dream.

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