In the Urban Crops laboratory, up to 220 mature lettuce plants are produced each day in a 30-square-metre room using just five percent of the water required in traditional agriculture.
The Straits Times
Oct 9, 2016
Mr Vandecruys prides himself on the completely automated agro-system he has set up in Waregem, in eastern Belgium.
At the Urban Crops lab, a conveyor belt circulates containers of germinated plants which are placed in a special substrate, using no earth to reduce the risks of disease linked to animal-life and other external factors.
The containers are introduced to a closed room, the walls of which are lined with shelves.
Under the artificial light the plants develop in a controlled environment, fed through a hydroponic system – water laced with the ideal mix of mineral salts and essential nutrients.
No pesticides are required in this much more sterile environment and, as the LED lamps don’t heat up, they can be placed close to the plants, allowing for tight layers of plants.