Tackling root issues in vertical farming
HAI TECH LTD is developing a solution for monitoring the health of crop roots in vertical farms. The technology could help farmers to reduce wastage, predict crop yields and increase profitability within this emerging sector of agriculture. To find out more, EIT Food’s Matt Eastland is joined by HAI TECH LTD’s Diego Corona, Andrea Izquierdo and Vasileios Tsormpatzoudis.
• Vertical farming is an alternative to conventional agriculture, in which crops are grown in stacked layers indoors. Leafy greens and microgreens are common crops, but farms are producing an expanding range of other fruits and vegetables. • Often located in cities, vertical farming uses artificial lighting and controlled climate conditions. In theory these farms can be much more efficient than conventional agriculture, but challenges remain and 7.2% of crops in UK vertical farms are wasted at source.
• To tackle this inefficiency, HAI TECH LTD is developing a root monitoring technology, which can monitor the health of roots – helping vertical farmers predict crop yield while optimising resources.
• Maize production could benefit from this technology because it is a nutritious whole grain crop with a complex root structure.