Plant Factory

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  • A word for a Controlled Environment Agriculture system that is large enough, and has enough throughput to be considered a factory
  • It is cost competitive if not better for localized as of now for greens and sprouts
  • It is counter intuitive due to the preference for shorter, faster growing plant varieties, and high edible/usable mass (ie little leafs, giant fruit, little to no stem, this is why leafy greens work so well)
  • This means much of it's next success depends on Selective Breeding and Genetic Engineering of plants
  • They are also intresting in that they make for great labratory's for testing these new varieties as all conditions can be varied, and high throughput means lots of possible tests/samples
  • Typically use Vertical farming , Grow Lights , Agricultural Atmosphere Enrichment , Hydroponics / Aeroponics / Aquaponics and HVAC
  • Thus are rater energy intensive, but are often paired with solar and/or biomass power generation
  • They also can be placed anywhere, even on mobile platforms such as cargo ships and IMCs
  • Many are in Asia, partially due to the local market, but also because of surplus Cleanrooms from the tech industry that are easily converted
  • Plants are also grown in a sterile (Or only with selected benificial microrganisms) enviroment and thus have longer shelf life
  • If paired with Controlled Atmosphere Storage, Refrigeration, Food Irradiation, Preservatives, Food Drying, or some combination of these shelf life would be almost irrelevant
  • Also they use NO PESTICIDES, little water, and low nutrient use (Especially if using aquaponics)
  • Since Location becomes Irrelevant (Outside of Cost), transportation can be reduced, and farmland can be returned to wildland or developed, thus saving land

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