For the past year the Bermuda Government, through the business development unit, has been working with Aerofarms to design and implement a vertical farming facility in Bermuda. "Our aim is to boost local food production to provide reliable, sustainable and resilient leafy greens at scale for the Bermudian people, all year round," Minister Furbert explained yesterday, while revealing plans for a large scale VF installment in what Bermudians can invest.
"Vertical Farming will utilize the latest technology to grow leafy greens in a controlled environment. The aim of this venture is to reduce the cost of food to the general public, reduce the reliance on imported leafy greens, and boost employment in Bermuda."
The Ministry is currently finalising the plans for the development and financing of a purpose-built facility that will have the capacity to produce the equivalent of 200 acres of conventional farmland. The plans will be presented to the Cabinet Committee for Economic Development in November 16″ 2020.
"A key component of this project, and in keeping in line with the Government’s vision to create a nation of owners, will be to allow Bermudians to invest in this entity so that they can enjoy the benefits of ownership of local food production," the Minister revealed. "This project has the potential of supplying about 30% of Bermuda’s year-round demand for leafy greens. The project is environmentally sound using 95% less water than conventional production and using zero pesticides therefore eliminating harmful run-off."
According to Furbert, they expect to see the creation of at least 30 long term jobs post construction. Other benefits are the partnership with schools providing a Stem-based curriculum and promoting healthy eating in the school system, the year-round availability, the consistent pricing and the longer shelf life of the products.
"As is readily evident, this Vertical Farming initiative will be a boon for Bermuda in many ways and I look forward to providing further updates next month," Minister Furbert concluded.