Inside China's 'smart vegetable farm'

In what could be the future of agriculture in China, a company in Anxi, Fujian province, has been developing a smart farm that enables vegetables to grow efficiently in an automated environment.

The firm's latest expansion project - a 5,000-square-metre (53,819-square-foot) indoor farm - has been under development for the past two years and was finally unveiled last Friday.

Eight to 10 tonnes of vegetables are produced every day on the farm, which is almost the size of a football pitch. That amount of vegetables would be enough to feed nearly 36,000 people, according to Sanan Sino-Science, the company behind the project.

In the factory, the smaller-sized varieties can be harvested in 18 days while larger vegetables take between 33 and 35 days, he added. Vegetables in a conventional farm need about 40 to 60 days to reach maturity, which is also highly dependable on weather conditions.

At full capacity, when the energy cost is neglected, the smart factory can produce 3,000 tonnes to 3,500 tonnes of leafy greens per year.

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