It is projected that by the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. With fears of overcrowding and land scarcity, the need to evolve our agriculture is one of the primary challenges we face in the 21st century.
A solution? Vertical farming. The innovative concept, which was first pioneered by Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier, is a promising solution that many of the world’s most populated cities are starting to consider. As of now, the land-scarce Republic of Singapore is leading the way with the opening of the world’s first commercial vertical farm, featuring 3.65-hectares of stacked vegetables in the northwestern district of Lim Chu Kang.
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As Channel News Asia reports, the farm is organized by a series of nine meter tall aluminum towers, suitable of growing up to a half ton of vegetables per year. This is just the beginning, as the farm is expected to double in size by the end of 2013.
The project is a huge win for the country, which up until now, imported 93% of its vegetables, due to lack of farming space.
“The challenge will be to get investors interested. This type of farm needs (relatively) higher capital,” said Dr Ngiam Tong Tau, the chairman of Sky Greens. “This is a new system, so people need to be trained (and) we need to attract people to come here to work.”