Vertical urban agriculture finds its niche in Brazil

Pink Farms, a vertical urban garden that was born in 2016 with the purpose of producing food at the place of consumption, is located in São Paulo, the largest city in South America. Its facilities have 750 m² of covered area available for the hydroponic production of all kinds of vegetables, such as lettuce, arugula, chard, spinach, and basil, among others.

Some of the advantages of this vertical urban garden are that the cultivation area required to grow vegetables is smaller than the one required in the open field, its irrigation system reduces water consumption by 95%, and the cultivation conditions allow decreasing the use of fertilizers by 50%.

Customers can purchase the garden products online, which allowed the company to reduce the number of intermediaries, the time between harvest and consumption, losses, and the impact generated by the chain, delivering a much fresher product to the consumer. "Our plants can most likely be consumed on the same day they were harvested, eliminating post-harvest waste that averages 30% losses," the company stated.

The success of this type of agriculture has led to the construction of Smart Local Farms, an urban agricultural facility in the city of Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This facility will cover 600 m² of greenhouses on 10 hectares and will be equipped with technology supplied by the agtech company Elysios Agricultura Inteligente, which will automate irrigation and the application of fertilizers, allowing a 36% saving in operating costs, a 50% increase in production, and a 60% increase in income, according to the company.

Smart Locals Farms will allow visits to promote local education. It will also provide training and insertion opportunities for prisoners in the semi-open prison regime, who will be responsible for daily activities on site. Thus, in addition to promoting healthy nutrition and environmental sustainability, the project will create local jobs and have a social impact on the community.


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