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Vertical farms still up in the air

A vertical farm (File photograph)

A bid to introduce vertical farming to Bermuda has yet to bear fruit – but the Government said discussions continued.

The Government earlier announced that a proposal would go before the Cabinet Committee for Economic Development last November.

But Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said last week that discussions on the proposal were ongoing.

Mr Furbert added: “We will provide the public with an update of this exciting project once all due diligence has been satisfied.”

A Ministry spokeswoman did not provide any update on the funding plans for the project, the timeline for development or likely locations.

Representatives of AeroFarms, a US firm who were announced to be involved in the development of the project, did not respond to a request for comment.

Vertical farming involves the production of crops in a controlled environment, usually indoors, using techniques such as hydroponics instead of soil and the crops grow in stacked layers.

The Government said last November that it was close to finalising plans to bring a vertical farm to the island to help meet Bermuda’s demand for fresh produce.

Mr Furbert said at the time the plan could reduce the cost of food production in Bermuda and generate 30 jobs.

He added that the proposal would be put to the Cabinet Committee for Economic Development later that month – but no further announcements have been made.

Mr Furbert rebuffed Opposition queries on the price tag for the proposal in the House of Assembly a month later and said no cash had been committed.

He added further details were subject to “confidentiality with developers” but that due diligence would be carried out.

It is estimated there are about 760 acres of land available for farming in Bermuda, although only 365 acres are worked.

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Published February 17, 2021 at 8:31 am (Updated February 17, 2021 at 8:31 am)

Vertical farms still up in the air

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