Tshwane vertical farming facility
The anticipated fourth industrial revolution is set to significantly impact agriculture and agro-processing, with technologies such as “smart ICT based agriculture and robots in agriculture” already emerging from developed countries. There are many countries beginning to adopt vertical farming (VF), and these include USA, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, Singapore, Canada and Australia. Vertical farms cultivate plant or animal life within dedicated or mixed-use skyscrapers in urban settings. There are many variations of vertical farming, the most innovative of which uses controlled environment agriculture (CEA)
The advantages and benefits of adopting the vertical farming approach include:
• The production of fresh, healthy, nutritious and pest-free food all year-round.
• Production is not dependent on the weather.
• Efficient use of water through recycling.
• Efficient use of land.
• No need for arable land.
• Production can take place in urban, industrial and rural settings close to consumers and markets.
• Reduced transport costs.
• Greater yield per cultivated area.
• No loss of harvest as a result of the weather, pests or animals.
• No negative impact on biodiversity or damage to the soil.
• Less emission of carbon dioxide.
• Lower use of fossil fuels (no tractors for land preparation and transportation).
TEDA proposed the establishment of the Tshwane vertical farming facility in the
city of Tshwane footprint, the location is yet to be determined. The high level
feasibility study of the project was completed. The market investigation
recommended the two products microgreens and culinary herbs to be produced in
the facility, however this will require further investigation.
The project is at project planning phase as guided by TEDA – PPM Project Management Framework. The multi-disciplinary stakeholders comprising of provincial and local departments is currently underway with the goal to formulate a delivery strategy.
The project is estimated valued at R14.9 million. The impact of the project is the gross value add (GVA) R3.5 million per annum , with direct job creation of six people at a facility of 450m2 which may be duplicated in the City’s foot print.