MILAN – The future of agriculture is unfolding in Newark and looks like setting a new standard in agricultural production. Aeroponics represent an innovative method of growing, where the plants do not have an underlayer, leaving the roots free to receive water vapour and nutrients. In Newark, the biggest aeroponics farm in the world is under construction, with 6400 m2 of cultivated spaces completely without soil. The system, developed by ‘AeroFarms’ is fuelled by photo-voltaic panels and will be able to produce over 2 million kg of vegetables per year.
It is a project of 30 million dollars, which will enable the company to cover their set-up costs within a year, but the most interesting thing will be the water saved: while in traditional growing, a large part of the fluids are wasted due to evaporation, with this innovative technique, it is possible to use 90% less water compared to traditional methods and 20% less than in hydroponics. In this case, almost all the water vapour is absorbed by the roots. Urban aeroponics gardens will grow in half the time it takes for them to grow in soil, with a yield of 30% more.
A project developed with the collaboration of Goldman Sachs, Prudential and Newark RBH Group, with the idea of providing incentives for this innovative agricultural method, preserving a substance of vital importance, such as water and creating new jobs. This is not just a love for the environment, but also the chance for many to find a permanent job: "It is a big thing having AeroFarms in Newark”, said Marc Oshima, head of Marketing at AeroFarms, “On a global level, we are capable of contributing and guiding young people towards economic development. It is about creating jobs, work all year round and equitable and fair wages. We are excited about being in Newark, because we have a long history here. One of the essential things for us is to find the key to launching the product on the mass market”.
Testimonies from the experts
Sayyid Johnson, a 21 year old, employed in AeroFarms’ research and development laboratories affirmed: “I like it better working here because you learn a lot. What I have learned in the last three months has been incredible. I would never have imagined I would end up dealing with these things”.
by editorial staff