Soil-less crops, ver­ti­cal plots and the fu­ture of farms

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The Philip­pines will soon be get­ting its first smart farm, thanks to fund­ing from the Philip­pine Coun­cil for In­dus­try, En­ergy and Emerg­ing Tech­nol­ogy Re­search and Devel­op­ment. Smart farm­ing uses tech­nol­ogy to boost out­put, min­imise costs and pro­mote sus­tain­abil­ity and green agri­cul­tural prac­tices. The Que­zon City Farm, as the project is known, will house a $7m pro­gramme dubbed Spice – Smart Plant Pro­duc­tion in Con­trolled En­vi­ron­ments – aimed at en­cour­ag­ing ur­ban farm­ing and tech-based plant conservation in the coun­try. With a view to pro­tect­ing the rich eco­log­i­cal land­scape of the Philip­pines, the smart farm will be able to grow en­dan­gered and valu­able native plant species in a highly con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment that har­nesses mod­ern farm­ing tech­niques such as ver­ti­cal farm­ing, cry­op­reser­va­tion, which pro­tects bi­o­log­i­cal ma­te­rial from chemical dam­age through freez­ing at ex­tremely low tem­per­a­tures, and hy­dro­pon­ics, a tech­nique that al­lows plants to be grown with­out us­ing soil.

Crops grown us­ing hy­dro­pon­ics, a method that will be utilised at the Que­zon City Farm

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