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Inside a vertical farm of about 10,000 square meters of growing area, the PLANET FARMS LIFE project demonstrated that it is possible to produce high quality vegetables saving huge quantities of water and without using any pesticides.

Planet Farms Italia, the leader of this project, installed some highly innovative technological equipment within its facility. Among all, three different innovative systems allow to save a massive amount of water: the innovative air treatment system, the irrigation system and the automation system.

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The main goal of the irrigation system is to provide water only to the plants’ roots. The system is based on micro-perforated trays through which the roots can absorb nutrient-enriched water directly from their containers. The excess water is drained into special tanks to be filtered and sterilized by UV lamps. The water is then replenished with missing nutrients (which in the meanwhile have been absorbed by the plants) and ready to be reintroduced into the circuit.

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T The entire cultivation process, from sowing to the packaging of the product has been automized and it takes place in a controlled environment without any direct human intervention, in order to prevent the entry of pathogens.

The high level of hygiene within the entire production cycle makes it possible to grow vegetables without using pesticides or herbicides.

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A special air treatment system was installed within the facility to ensure a constant filtration and recirculation of the air.

The air treatment system has two main functions:

  • The creation of an ideal environment for the plants, with the right levels of humidity and temperature, eliminating the temperature changes typical of seasonality and thus controlling water consumption.
  • Filtration and purification of the air to prevent the entry of pathogens thus eliminating the need to use pesticides or herbicides.

Once tested in real and operating conditions, the teams worked together to improve the automation system according to the feedback received by the production to find the best and most environmentally sustainable solution in terms of air, water and power consumption. In each growing room, several cameras take pictures of the growing seeds and by analysing these images we train specific AI algorithms to continuously improve the production in a more sustainable way.

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