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OBJECTIVE IS TO DISRUPT FARMING Featured
20 January 2019 Posted by 

OBJECTIVE IS TO DISRUPT FARMING

Concern over fresh food availability in West
RED DWYER
THE “paving over” of productive agricultural land from Hawkesbury to Campbelltown is detrimental to the availability of fresh food for Sydney’s residents and restaurateurs.

Vertical farming, a way of producing food or crops stacked on top of one another indoors – think a glasshouse or warehouse – could be an answer to the problem of the relentless urban sprawl.

“Sydney’s loss of agricultural capacity will put strains on the accessibility and affordability of fresh food,” said Matt Brand, CEO, NSW Farmers’ Association.

Studies have found that if urbanisation continues in the Sydney Basin to “pave over” the production of fresh produce, Western Sydney would be the most affected area.

“If we continue along the [urbanisation] path we’re on, Sydney stands to lose more than 90 per cent of its current fresh vegetable production,” The Conversation, an on line publication, reported.

This path could include a demand for an additional 184,500 dwellings over the next 20 years in the Western City District, according to the Greater Sydney Commission.

Alternative means of production have been in the works for some time.

Green Camel, a certified organic food producer partnered in 2012 with the University of Sydney to build an industry-based research and development facility at Cobbitty

The objective was “to disrupt traditional farming methods and find a better way to grow commercial scale aquaculture and horticulture [as an example] of sustainable organic glasshouse farming”, according to the company’s website.

The facility has successfully grown basil, coriander, various baby leaf lettuce, parsley, baby leaf spinach, rocket and a variety of Asian greens.

“We have the capacity to produce over 180,000 kilograms of leafy greens and 16,000 kilograms of tomatoes per year.” according to its website

The Department of Primary Industries is undertaking a feasibility study of an agribusiness precinct in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, including, research into indoor food production and processing.

NSW Farmers’ Association aims to assist Sydneysiders’ access to affordable fresh food linking the precinct to the Central West, one of the state’s premier agricultural regions

Local entrepreneurs could consider Vertical Farm Systems’ production of fresh produce operational in a novel setting on the Sunshine Coast.– in a warehouse in an industrial space.

A $7M high-tech glasshouse facility at the WSU’s Hawkesbury campus aims to help growers tap into the latest research and practices in greenhouse crop production to make their operations more efficient and meet the increased demand for fresh food.

 



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