Established in Istanbul in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the private sector, an indoor vertical agriculture center aims to cultivate new technologies in the face of an ever-growing population. The center also aims to eradicate problems caused by the climate crisis, saving 95% of the water used in a fully automated process that relies on specially produced artificial lights and does not require soil or the sun.
Explaining the project, Istanbul Provincial Director of Agriculture and Forestry Ahmet Yavuz Karaca said, "We are at the second deepest point in the world where indoor vertical farming is practiced. The production area in London is 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) deeper. There is no soil here, and there is no sun. We do this with specially produced artificial lights and full automation."
With the participation of Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirişci, Istanbul's Indoor Vertical Agriculture Application and Research and Development Center was inaugurated on December 8 in the New Culture Center Complex in Kağıthane. The center was built to bring production closer to the city to reduce logistics costs and product loss and to provide city residents with access to fresh and cheap vegetables.
Responding to questions, Karaca said that the project was launched in 2019 and represents a first in Türkiye. He explained that 95% of the water used in the process of producing the vegetables is saved since averting a water crisis is the biggest goal. In addition, no pesticides are used on the vegetables, which saves costs and results in more organic produce.
Stressing the importance of the center, he said, "The center can be useful during droughts, natural disasters, and war situations, as COVID-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war recently showed how essential food can be."
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