High-tech Farms Take on Cold Water Crops
Cold weather crops growing in temperate countries such as Australia and the US, are now made possible to survive in high temperature countries with the help of technology.
High-tech vertical farms are the new harvesting method started in Singapore, according to an article published in June 2017. Kale, a multi-purpose vegetable which is used in salads, sandwiches, to make chips and juices is a cold weather crop, the survival of which is impossible in the climate of Singapore. However, farms are exploring new ways of growing such crops that would have been impossible to cultivate otherwise. The government decided to help the farmers with an aim of boosting the agricultural productivity, which led to the Agriculture Productivity Fund in Singapore. More farmland has been set aside to promote high-tech farming, ever since.
An agricultural firm named Sustenir uses technology to manipulate the growth of crops. Air conditioning ducts, LED lights and an automated irrigation system is used to keep the environment under control in order to grow hydroponic crops, such as Kale, cherry tomatoes and strawberries. The temperature, humidity, and nutrients in the water are controlled by this technology, in turn reducing the duration of farming to half of that required by the conventional farming process. With the help of this technology, crops can be customized to customer preferences. The entire crop, from tip to root can be made edible by using this technology.
“Traditionally when you eat kale you import from overseas, you’d have to rip off the stem, which is a huge waste – 50 per cent of your weight gone. But it’s great that we get to use the whole thing when it’s done locally.” Said Andrea Scarpa, an executive chef.
Local farming has now made the supply of fresh, safe and high quality vegetable production possible. In future, the farms are expecting to tailor edible flowers and micro greens for its customers.
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