Revolution in agriculture: the world’s largest automated vertical farm is built in Chengdu
In Chengdu, China, scientists from the Institute of Urban Agriculture at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences there have created a fully automated indoor vegetable farm with an impressive 20 floors, billed as the largest automated facility of its kind in the world. Vertical farms are an effective means of introducing agricultural production to urban environments and areas where traditional growing methods are not suitable due to the climate.
This innovative vertical farm in Chengdu covers an area of 200 m² and consists of 20 floors, where lettuce can be produced fully automatically without human intervention. The system is controlled by artificial intelligence linked to an extensive control program. The robots take care of the physical care of the plants, transporting the lettuce seedlings to the different growing racks, and under their care the plant reaches harvest in about 20 days.
To overcome the traditional problem of lack of natural daylight in indoor growing, scientists have developed a sophisticated plant lighting formula. Wang Sen of the Institute of Urban Agriculture explained that during different stages of the life cycle, plants can combine different amounts of red, blue and yellow light, including near-ultraviolet and infrared light. In total, they built a database of 1,300 combinations for 72 crop species.
This intelligent system also helps minimize energy consumption for lighting. Scientists claim that vegetables grown in this way have the same nutritional value as those traditionally grown in the field in the soil.
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