Press Release

Following the 2015 first-of-its-kind educational event focused on the science and techniques used in successfully operating a controlled environment agriculture facility, the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture (FDCEA) announces they will once again host the International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture (ICCEA) in Panama City, Panama in May, 2017.

According to David Proenza, one of the FDCEA Founders and a pioneer of the vertical farming movement, he believes the time has come for greatly improving the technology and knowledge behind the way we grow and produce food crops.  He states, “Growing parameters such as soil temperature, humidity, air temperature and flow, CO2 and nutrient distribution can be enhanced through the intelligent use of technology: hardware, software, wireless sensors, LED lighting and through ever-developing, disciplined science.”  The end results are better quality; clean, nutritious and safer foods all derived from a protected environment and enhanced food production.

As a current “traditional” farmer of watermelons he goes on to say, “Traditional methods of agriculture are burdened by numerous obstacles and difficulties, most of which can be solved by growing through the use of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) and by applying “Ag Tech” to either greenhouses or indoor, vertical farms.”

According to Chris Higgins, co-Founder of the FDCEA and owner of Urban Ag News, “The FDCEA has organized the ICCEA to inspire all interested parties to innovate and collaborate.”

The ICCEA 2017 is an event where attendees will have the opportunity to learn from renowned experts in the applied fields of science, agriculture, horticulture, lighting, robotics and (Ag) engineering. The FDCEA seeks to make CEA (whether greenhouse, vertical farm, or other) the answer to the future of agriculture with a primary focus on the creation of sustainable and profitable agriculture businesses.

The theme of ICCEA 2017 is “Using Science and the Market to Build a Successful Controlled Environment Agriculture Business”.  It will be held on May 17, 18 and 19 in Panama City, Panama.

For additional information on this event, please visit one of the following:

To register for specific information on attending or exhibiting at ICCEA2017, visit ICCEA Panama at

To get more information on the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment Agriculture, visit their website at

For continual updates on this event as well as others, visit Urban Ag News ( and register for their newsletter and eMagazine (

Remember global food safety and security depends on our ability to evolve and look beyond traditional agriculture. See you in Panama in 2017!


Research Center for Controlled Environment Agricultural Production (CIPAC) in Panama

Panama is the first country to understand that climate change is impacting traditional agriculture in Latin America and due to these permanent changes is preparing to completely embrace new technologies such as controlled environment agriculture (which includes vertical farming, greenhouse vegetable production and indoor agriculture.)

Their preparation includes designing, developing and constructing the Research Center for Controlled Environment Agricultural Production, or CIPAC for short. CIPAC is a groundbreaking and innovative initiative spearheaded by the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) and the Foundation for Development in Controlled Environment Agriculture (FDCEA). The FDCEA thought leader and a non-profit that works with experts to define strategies and goals in the world of ag tech and research.

Together they believe controlled environment agriculture is one solution for farmers looking to answer to a global problem of a growing population and environmental challenges.

The Research Center will be a place where new growers and students can join commercial growers and together learn how to better balance climate, air flow, light, nutrition to grow lettuce, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, melons and much more.

This is great news for Panama and all of Latin America.

Download the brochure here.