Greens grow despite the odds at Lebanon urban farm



LENGTH: 3:32
Beirut, Lebanon – 13 June 2022
1. Various of plants growing in urban farm container in pink lights
2. Edwin Arida, operations manager at Beirut Farm, walking between plants
3. Arida cutting leaf of Wasabi Arugula
4. Green leaf under pink light
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Edwin Arida, operations manager at Beirut Farm:
“Vertical farming for me is definitely the future of nutrition. That doesn’t mean that we’re removing countryside farming, which I’m totally against eliminating this factor. Urban farming is farming in the middle of the city. We’re getting the village in the city. So what we’re doing is, with the same amount of land  – so here we have 30 meters squared – we’re able to plant an output equivalent to land of 13,000 meters squared.”
6. Various of plants in urban farm container with white lights
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Edwin Arida, operations manager at Beirut Farm:
“The reason behind this project is after global warming and corona(virus) – all of those slowed down global food supply. So what we did here is that we got… instead of importing what we are farming currently inside, we are now able to farm everything locally, on hand, on demand. That makes it… the deliveries become with lower carbon emissions. And instead of getting the baby spinach from Spain, you now have it here, 10 minutes away from your house in Beirut.”
8. Various of lights switching colors inside container
9. Plants
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Edwin Arida, operations manager at Beirut Farm:
“It helps in the growth of plants, also. So we add some classical music and factually, it has been proved that it could relax the plant and let it grow in a more comfortable environment.”
11. Tilt-down from building to Arida leaving farm container
12. Arida exiting container
13. Various of Sandro Allouche, founder of Beirut Farm, checking on plants tubes
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Sandro Allouche, founder of Beirut Farm:
“I really felt that this is something that Lebanon can use. The fact that land resources are scarce. It’s a small country. Land is very expensive, lands are very polluted, air is very polluted. Water also somehow, it is polluted. So I thought that this technology could be very handy for Lebanon.”
15. Various of Beirut Farm container
In the centre of Beirut, sits a vertical farm where greens such as kale and spinach are growing in a closed environment.
There are however multiple obstacles for the project in a country with frequent power cuts, as the farm needs non-stop electricity to run.
Serene music plays inside a container farm in Beirut where edible plants are growing under colorful lights.
But outside the farm container, a turbulent climate has been brewing in Lebanon, creating many challenges for Beirut Farm.
The business was founded on the hopes that this vertical farm would offer options for people to grow produce in the busy center of the Lebanese capital.
Inside the container, lettuce, kale, spinach and other greens are growing in a controlled environment.
The hydroponics process used in the project needs considerably less water, no pesticides, no herbicides, and no algae to get a clean produce.
But the work is also rife with challenges linked to the conditions in Lebanon where energy prices have skyrocketed in the time that the business has been operating since March 2021.
The price of fuel has made the cost of running the project very expensive as the urban faming container needs 24/7 electricity to maintain plant growth.

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