Vertical indoor farms, commonly referred to as ‘smart farms’, have grown in popularity in Taiwan as the island’s youth are hesitant to engage in agriculture.
Cover Image Source: YouTube/South China Morning Post
November 11, 2022
Now that the necessary technology is fast developing, vertical farming is emerging all over the world. Although there are still problems with this technology and agriculture marriage, its potential may be too great to pass up. Proponents of vertical farming say that the issue of sustainably feeding 7.9 billion people could be resolved if the idea takes off.
“We use hydroponic farming and thus have no insect egg problem,” Yang says. “Everyone’s biggest fear when having a salad is insect eggs.”
Taiwan is leading the fight here. The country is now growing highly sought-after, clean, organic food in several unused spaces in major city hubs. Utilizing cutting-edge and effective vertical farming techniques, a new initiative is building upon sustainable agriculture in a metro station. The 40 square meters “Metro Fresh” hydroponic garden situated inside Nanjing-Fushing Station in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, uses LED lights to produce vegetables like lettuce in a sterile environment without the use of pesticides or herbicides.
Julia Yang, an executive from the company that built the metro farm, Unimicron Technology, suggests to Euro News that most people generally worry about when it comes to traditional land-based farming is “the unavoidable usage of pesticides.”
The farms are extremely innovative with the usage of hydroponic farming. High-tech equipment has been employed to control factors like light, temperature, and nutrients that are most conducive to the growth of plants. “We use hydroponic farming and thus have no insect egg problem,” Yang says. “Everyone’s biggest fear when having a salad is insect eggs.”
“Right now our production yield is about 180 bags of lettuce, each bag is 200 grams. We can produce 180 bags of lettuce each week,” says Winnie Chan, deputy manager at Unimicron Plant Technology. Smart farms use technology to boost yields and reduce weather variations while using minimal labor. Taiwan has a population of 23.57 million people but only a 36,197 square km land area. This indicates that for the country to develop and become self-sufficient, it is essential to be able to utilize space as effectively as possible. Other nations with dense populations like Singapore, Monaco and Malta may also find these technologies valuable.
Vertical indoor farms, commonly referred to as “smart farms”, have grown in popularity in Taiwan as the island’s youth are hesitant to engage in agriculture. Jobs in the technology sector are more in demand among young people since they pay higher and provide more room for advancement. The IT industry has benefited from this shift to a different type of job in terms of research and technical experimentation.