Murray Coleman comments in the Globe and Mail’s look at the vertical farming industry, where proponents say these farms can supply greens all year to Canadians at prices that compete favourably with foreign-grown products, helping to keep grocery costs stable and making the country less reliant on imported food.
Murray says there is some government support for vertical farming in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. An example is the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP)—a multibillion-dollar, five-year agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments that provides funding which includes support for adaptions of robotics equipment used in vertical farms.
He adds that vertical farmers still have to contend with a range of regulatory and environmental issues before they can set up. “There are land use rules, local laws and regulations, and zoning questions, such as whether a vertical farm should have to follow the rules of a typical high-occupancy development. Another important issue is energy consumption.” Unlike greenhouses, which rely more on natural light, the vertical farm crops showered with light from LED bulbs may be energy-efficient, but they still require electric power.
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