Skip to comments.Emirates is building a giant vertical farm to feed airline passengers
Posted on 08/20/2018 5:54:51 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The worlds largest vertical farm is coming to Dubai.
The indoor farm is a $40 million joint venture between Crop One Holdings and Emirates Flight Catering, who say its a way of producing pesticide-free crops while using a fraction of the water that traditional farming does.
The produce will feed passengers of Emirates and other airlines at Dubais Al Maktoum International Airport. The farm will be built near the airport, eliminating trucking costs and emissions.
But is vertical farming really as green as it seems?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
To feed a growing global population, which could reach 9.1 billion by 2050, world food production will need to rise by 70%.
In addition, most of us will be living in cities, and will likely want to source our food locally.
Many think that vertical farms offer a viable solution.
For one thing, this type of farming doesnt need soil. The plants are stacked on top of each other in rows, their roots immersed in nutrient-rich water. This system, called hydroponics, uses 99% less water than field farming. The plants sit under LED lights which drive their photosynthesis.
The growing conditions are controlled digitally. The temperature, humidity, light, water and plant nutrients are all monitored by a computer, which constantly adjusts the levels according to what the plants need.
This also means that the farms can be set up anywhere, as long as theres a source of electricity and access to distilled water. In the future we may see these farms on offshore oil and gas exploration facilities and in extreme climates.
In the new Dubai facility, the plants are stacked together four or five storeys high over 12,077 square metres. Thats enough space to grow greens for the 225,000 meals that Emirates Flight Catering produce daily.
Proponents of vertical farming argue that the benefits are many. Theres no need for great swathes of land to grow food. Crop One says that the facility will produce the same amount on a single acre indoors that would normally require 400 acres of land. In addition, the food can be grown in cities, leaving redundant agricultural land to be taken back by nature.
No fertilizers or pesticides are used, so there is no agricultural runoff, one of the main sources of pollutants in our waterways. However, critics argue that the energy costs can be high.
Bruce Bugbee, a professor of crop physiology at Utah State University, says that even the best LED lights only have a 50% efficiency rate. Transportation costs account for about 4% of the energy in the food system. The energy for electric lights is much greater than that, he told The New York Times.
In addition, so far only a few types of crops are suitable for indoor farming, such as lettuces and tomatoes.
IT'S CATCHING ON
But its enough of an idea to interest investors, who are pouring millions into the start-ups revolutionizing the way we grow food.
The global vertical farming market was valued at $1.5 billion in 2016, and the hydroponics segment contributed nearly 42%.
According to research firm Allied Market Research, the global vertical farming market is expected to reach $6.4 billion by 2023.
A gimmick. The yups will eat it up.
That isn't a 70% increase in population, so why is it a 70% increase in food needs?
Stop growing crops for fuel and you'll have some food back in supply for dining.
“no agricultural runoff,” Really? So what exactly is in the water that is fed to them? It’s liquid fertilizer, and it is not all absorbed, so there is “run-off.”
Not really. Vertical farming has been going on since the Middle Ages.
This is perfect for cities. There's no need to bring in produce from Central and South America anymore. Fruit and vegetables can be grown in Northern Wisconsin!
My only question is the energy. I would say small-scale nuclear power plants are an option.
Not a single Arab will design it.
No mention of the method to harvest 5 stories high...
Can they grow a steer in this vertical farm?
"Where's the beef?"
For a part- time experiment a home gardener could setup a wintertime greenhouse with a vertical hydroponic system. Got to have a heater though and some runoff rain water could be recycled. Wouldnt need artificial light with the greenhouse.
Just how high up are these farms gonna go?
Oh wow, they invented hydroponics....
“That isn’t a 70% increase in population, so why is it a 70% increase in food needs?”
Agree, given the obesity epidemic, I don’t think there’s a one-for-one correlation. Also, to break bad news to the doomsayers, I doubt world population continues to increase that fast, as it’s slowing down everywhere, particularly in the Third World.
Now accomplish the same with carbohydrate rich, protein rich, and needed fats adequate, foods and you've got something. We all starve on lettuce and good intentions.
High enough so planes flying by can restock in-fight.
“Soylent Green is people”
“A gimmick. The yups will eat it up.”
Why is it a gimmick?
Transportation costs account for about 4% of the energy in the food system. The energy for electric lights is much greater than that, he told The New York Times.
That’s not the impression the corrupt media has been giving for many years.
If the veggies are anything like hydroponic tomatoes, they are for looks only.
Pretty and consistent, but absolutely flavorless.
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