Taiwan: Smart farm to make up for lettuce gap during pandemic

In recent years, extreme climate inconsistencies have caused issues in crop production from time to time. Moreover, due to the pandemic, many crops cannot be imported. The lettuce produced by YesHealth Smart Farm in Taiwan tries to fill the gap these circumstances have created. By now, YesHealth's produce can be found in many large stores, supermarket chains, and department stores. A few years ago, plant factories were all the rage, but YesHealth does not consider itself to be one; it sees itself as a 'smart farm' that emphasizes plant-centered technology supplemented by growth.

Lu Yongjun, Marketing Director at YesHealth, said that YesHealth Smart Farm operates by imitating the natural ecological environment and respecting the physiological conditions of plants. He believes that sunlight, air, water, microbial liquid fertilizer, and music are indispensable. Therefore, the farm has artificial light and ultra-fine bubble water, and the vegetables drink soy milk, eat probiotics, listen to classical music, and gently sway in a natural wind so that they can grow in an environment that mimics nature. By doing so, the farm tries to break with the stereotype that hydroponic vegetables are not tasty.

YesHealth Smart Farm has 14 floors and three areas. Big data analysis and intelligent monitoring are implemented to help stabilize the production environment and make up for natural weather problems. In this way, YesHealth Smart Farm has cultivated lettuce without, heavy metals, parasite eggs, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, while it retains the original and delicious taste of lettuce.

Lu Yongjun emphasized that YesHealth is not competing with Taiwan's existing organic vegetable cultivation, but rather filling the gap that is created with the import problems and compensating for the lack of lettuce and spices in Taiwan. Because of the pandemic, many lettuces cannot be imported; now, thanks to the farm, the lettuces normally grown abroad are now available locally, too, as such reducing the miles the food has to travel and thus reducing the carbon footprint.

YesHealth Smart Farm also promotes the importance of a healthy diet through continuous education, emphasizing that all-around physical and mental balance is the greatest wealth in life. A healthy diet is the first step; when you are in good health, you are also happy.

At present, YesHealth is also actively exploring cooperation with other catering channels and diversifying ways of eating lettuce. They hope that, by providing healthy and delicious lettuce, more people will be exposed to different ways of eating lettuce, rather than just making salads.

In addition to the domestic market, YesHealth is also targeting the international market, including Europe, the Middle East, and other places, to discuss the possibility of cooperating to set up production bases. It is hoped that, through international cooperation, more people can eat healthy vegetables, the shortage of vegetables caused by environmental changes can be reduced, and more people will have a physical and mental health balance.

Source: Economic Daily

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