The Netherlands is set to reinvent the definition of urban farming with its one-of-a-kind floating dairy farm in the port city of Rotterdam. The farm will produce fresh dairy products on a daily basis thanks to 60 cows. Construction of the unique concept will start this month, with completion slated for the end of 2016.
Courage, the innovation institute of the Dutch agriculture and dairy sector, cooperated with national expert on city farming Uit Je Eigen Stad and Beladon, a company experienced in floating concepts. Apart from producing dairy products, the farm lab will research new technologies to ameliorate food production and waste management processes.
In an interview with The New Economy, CEO and partner of Beladon Peter van Wingerden said that the decline in finding suitable farmable land should push companies to seek new solutions. The farm has also cooperated with Philips to optimize light in producing fresh fodder for the animals. The Floating Farm stated that it carried out an experiment in which it produced between 15% and 20% of the food the cows should eat. The company added that the production of the same amount of food on land would have required 30 to 50 times more space.
“Only when quality of the fodder is stable and proved we will feed this to our animals,” the Floating Farm said on its official website. Meanwhile, van Wingerden assured that soft flooring will be installed, ensuring the cows’ safety and comfort.
Starting December, the farm products, such as milk and yogurt, will be available for purchase, on site seven days a week from 9 am until 5pm. Some local stores and a nearby vending machines will also sell the fresh products. The farm’s grand opening in predicted to be in January 2017.