Cambodia: Students encouraged to take up vertical farming

Dozens of Cambodian college students gathered at the Royal University of Agriculture on Saturday to participate in an “agri-techathon” that encouraged them to discuss the need for sustainable and smarter technology-based solutions to support the sector.

Organised by the Belt and Road Angel Investment Roundtable, a Hong Kong-based fund that promotes startups, the techathon offered students an opportunity to hear from successful entrepreneurs in the Kingdom and learn to promote their ideas.

Christine Zimmerman, chairwoman of the Association for Vertical Farming, spoke about the positive impacts of the technology, which uses less land and fewer resources to produce more food than traditional farming methods.

“We need to produce our food differently and closer to urban areas, where most people live,” she said. “You can make that happen and entrepreneurs are crucial.”

She noted that several Western countries have integrated vertical farming techniques that let farmers measure plant health and calculate the exact amount of pesticides to use.

While she was overwhelmingly supportive of the use of technology in agriculture, she warned against overuse of it.

“I mostly see positive impacts of technology in agriculture,” she said. “But the robotisation of our world is something we should be aware of, and we do have to look critically towards technology.”

Read more at The Phnom Penh Post (Robin Spiess)

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