NZ: This is a way of expanding our horticultural activity, rather than replacing it"

Matt Keltie​ business, 26 Seasons,​ first farmed microgreens in vertical farms in a former Wellington nightclub but has recently expanded his operation to Auckland.

But Keltie​ said it was not just about stacking plants on top of each other but rather using technology to farm smarter. According to data from indoor farm provider Plantlab, a vertical lettuce farm operating at full capacity achieved a yield of 80kg to 120kg crop yield per square meter, while a traditional farm achieved a yield of 3kg to 9kg per square meter.

Dr. Clive Cornford​, former associate dean of primary industries at Manukau Institute of Technology and now an independent consultant for the horticulture industry said; “This is a way of expanding our horticultural activity, rather than replacing it.  

Cornford​ pointed to major food production in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, China, Europe and the USA all utilizing vertical farming technology to prove it is a major presence on the global stage. “While we don’t have the same pressures of adverse climate, or cities of 5 million-plus in New Zealand, that shouldn’t stop us from actively exploring and investing into vertical farming,” Cornford​ said. 

Kylie Horomia​ is the head of industry transformation at WayBeyond​, a company that builds AI technology for the global agriculture industry. Horomia​ said the biggest export offering in the sector was the digital technology used to run the systems.

Read the complete article at Stuff 




Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber