TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan and its only European diplomatic ally, the Vatican, on Friday (Jan. 15) marked the first harvest of a joint farm focused on smart agriculture and environmental principles.
The Taiwanese-designed indoor farm sits on 60 hectares of land in southwest Rome owned by a Catholic foundation providing education and work opportunities to young refugees, CNA reported.
Taiwanese Ambassador Mathew Lee (李世明) on Friday toured the facility, which was launched by a team of engineers and agricultural experts from Taiwan after just three months of preparations. He said the project was inspired by Pope Francis’ call for a more active response to environmental problems and climate change.
The farm uses the technique of vertical farming, in which vertically stacked shelves are used to grow plants through more efficient management of temperature, irrigation, and lighting. Less land and water are required to produce higher yields in vertical farms, and fewer fertilizers and pesticides are needed.
Friday’s tour featured a meal prepared with herbs and vegetables grown at the farm, according to CNA.