Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center was put into service
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Prof. Dr. Vahit Kirişci attended the opening of the Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center. In his speech, Kirişci pointed out the importance of the center and said that with the opening of the center, they wanted to show the technological level of agriculture.
Stating that the Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center was put into service as the second in the world and they had just done the first harvest, he said, “It will be our main goal to attract young people to the agricultural sector and this field by increasing their interest. It will not be limited to just here, the number of centers will increase.” said.
Stating that the Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center is the second deepest agricultural production unit in the world, Minister Kirişci said:
“We just did the first harvest. The products we harvest are products with a short shelf life. The most basic problem of these products; they are very delicate, crops that need to be harvested and transported with care. Logistics is an important cost factor. A place where you can get rid of logistics costs. We are currently in a congress center in Kağıthane. We are on the minus 8th floor of the convention center, at 30 meters minus elevation. The fact that this production can be done in such a place is very important in order to show our youth, in other words, how agriculture can be transformed into production using the highest level of technology, just as it was done with those classical methods. Of course, we will protect traditional agriculture, traditional agriculture has its own advantages, studies on these are still ongoing.
In any case, we will continue to protect the land. Even if we are not water-poor, we are not water-rich, and we will continue to protect our water. We want to show our citizens a process where the soil is protected, water is protected, chemicals are not used at all, fertilizers are used at a minimum level, the photosynthesis process is carried out with LED lighting that reminds only daylight, but we especially expect our young people to visit these places. We want a city to be self-sufficient above all else. Therefore, we prioritize urban agriculture.”
“We Have Created a Center Where Production Can Be Performed on Multiple Floors and Shelving System”
Expressing that the Turkish nation is a nation tied to the land, Vahit Kirişci said, “We can live in a big city, but we can also engage in agriculture. We show that here as well.” said.
Kirişci also drew attention to the social responsibility side of the Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center. Minister Kirişci thanked everyone who contributed and continued his speech as follows:
“It is important that it is the first in Turkey. Secondly, it is left behind to consider agriculture as ‘just a classic plow, an ox pulling it, tractors with no comfort, work machines behind it’. Both our work machines and the places we work in show a great change and transformation. Our location is a parking lot. What we are trying to explain is that we do not need to see the sun or we do not need to say ‘earth’. There is a floor in classical production, there is a multiple floor here, and the concept of vertical comes from there. We have put forward a center where production can be carried out in a rack system on more than one floor.
Of course, it is not correct to say that ‘There is production in such a place, there is no need to be a land protector’. Because the products that can be grown here and the environments where we can grow the products we need should be preserved and developed. We care about this center. We have been able to increase the agricultural production area here, by switching to more than one floor, rather than one floor, as if we were to say, ‘Even if we increase the precedent, let’s increase the construction area a little bit,’ which is often used in local governments. In this sense, it is an innovative approach. It is important to build these places, but we have to show them to those who are interested, we have to make sure they see them.”
“People will be fed where they were born, agriculture will attract the attention of the youth”
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirişci stated that the center should be visited and called on young people to come and visit the center. Kirişci stated that this study will not be limited only to this place, and that the number of centers will increase.
Minister Vahit Kirişci said, “It will be our main goal to attract young people to the agricultural sector and this field by increasing their interest.” said.
Pointing out the results caused by the problems in the supply chain, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Kirişci said:
“Vegetables and fruits are transported to Istanbul from 76 provinces, 77 provinces if we count them. The number of vehicles carrying is 270 thousand trucks and they travel 140 million kilometers. There are exhaust emissions, environmental pollution and 117 thousand tons of carbon dioxide emissions as a result of these. The product arrives at the consumer in 4 days from the place of origin. The product loses its freshness. For example, an additional load of 1 lira and 20 cents per kilogram is loaded on tomatoes. We all complain ‘this much in the field, this much in the market’. One of the reasons for this is the applications I mentioned.
Even in our own comfortable vehicle, we get tired when we drive for 6 hours, we can visualize what that tomato has become, what fruits and vegetables with a short shelf life have become. Therefore, compare all the reasons such as the freshness of the product, logistics costs, prevention of exhaust emissions and the fact that the products grown vertically here can be delivered to the restaurant next to it. People will be fed where they were born, agriculture will become an attraction for the youth. The project is also very important in this respect.”
“We Will Make Contracted Agriculture Mandatory”
Vahit Kirişci gave information about the works carried out within the Ministry and said, “As the Ministry, we are in an effort to do our part for the future. We are establishing the Agriculture and Forestry Youth Council. We want young people and those who have a say in agriculture to show interest in this issue. Within the framework of the new vision, we will make the contract agriculture compulsory, which is optional, not compulsory, which can only be brought to the agenda between the parties by their own will. Especially in strategic products…”
After the speeches and ribbon cutting, Minister Kirişci and his entourage toured the center and gave information to the journalists. Kirişci met with the students and made the first harvest in the center.
The Center, with a Budget of 4 Million 100 Thousand TL, Was Established in a Car Parking Area of 700 Square Meters
Plants will perform photosynthesis with artificial light in the Istanbul Closed Vertical Agriculture Application Center, which was implemented with the cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the private sector.
In vertical farming, 10-40 times more efficiency can be obtained compared to traditional methods, while the technology used in the center, which is the second deepest agricultural production unit in the world, will also provide the opportunity to produce under the sea or in space in Turkey.
The Istanbul Indoor Vertical Agricultural Application Center, which was implemented with the aim of developing new nature-friendly technologies in the face of the increasing population and climate crisis, and where plant production will be made with artificial light at a depth of 30 meters, was established on the minus eighth floor of a parking lot, at a depth of minus 30 meters.
The center, which has a budget of 4 million 100 thousand TL, was established in the parking lot area of a total of 700 square meters of the New Culture Center Complex in Kağıthane district.
The experiences of the private sector were used as a solution partner in the domestic and national development and implementation of the smart agriculture technologies used in the project.
The first seeds were planted as of September 28, 2022 in the center, which was established on September 30, 2022. Red curly lettuce, curly and Italian basil planted as the first seed is planned to be harvested from the second half of December.
With this agricultural activity carried out in the city center, it is aimed to reduce logistics costs, reduce casualties, and provide access to fresh and cheap vegetables to those living in the city by bringing production and consumption centers closer.