Agro-tunnels could be the solution to economic food problems in parts of Canada

In Canada, high-tech grow tunnels are under development in Ontario’s Western University.

Coined as agro-tunnels, they do not look much different than any other pre-fab metal building, except within them lies artificial intelligence and computer-analytic-driven grow systems.

According to Dr. Joshua Pearce, “We’re using sunlight power that we’re generating outside, to power the lights and the pumps and the heat pumps on the inside. We have 720 ports per wall. Twice a day we pump nutrient-dense water up to the top, and then it dribbles through the cups. We basically create no waste, so it’s a combination of hydroponics and aeroponics using high-efficiency LED lights that are on 24/7.”

The president of the company behind the development says that agro-tunnels could be the solution to economic food problems that often plague remote northern Canadians.

“There were a number of communities in the north, here in Canada, that were looking for solutions so that they could produce food locally. If something’s on the back of a truck coming up from Mexico, quality starts to deteriorate. Our goal is to provide a system that can generate food in the community and that can be harvested and in your kitchen within hours,” Kim Parker explains.

Researchers say that not only does the technology bring nutritious foods to places where fresh produce is typically hard to get, it also does it efficiently.
For example, it can take strawberries from seed to production in a single season.

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