"Europe's largest" plant factory opens in Belgium

What is claimed to be Europe's largest automated urban farm has opened in the town of Waregem in western Belgium.

L-R Vandecruys, Bourgeois, Bulcaen - Image:Urban Crops
L-R Vandecruys, Bourgeois, Bulcaen - Image:Urban Crops

Minister-President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois last week opened the facility at Urban Crops' headquarters, where it will be used to test new crops and techniques rather than for commercial production.

It covers 90 sq m and with eight growing layers giving a total growing space of 240 sq m, the facility. Each growing layer can be independently lit and irrigated, enabling a range of crops to be grown at the same time.

Urban Crops managing director Maarten Vandecruys said: "This installation demonstrates all technical possibilities for our customers so that we can help them stay ahead in their competitive market."

Chairman Frederic Bulcaen added: "This confirms our presence as a top technology company in the growing global market of urban farming. Our ultimate dream is one day to feed, with Urban Crops food factories, people that will live on the moon or planet Mars."

In addition to its bespoke "plant factories", Urban Crops supplies two self-contained closed growing units, Farm Flex and Farm Pro, housed in standard 12m-long shipping containers.

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