In 2006 when Pakistan facing critical period of law and order situation in the country in general and in Karachi particular, that time Pakistani industries facing a big crises. Sohail Ahmed’s once-booming polyester filament yarn plant closed down due to a world recession, alongside lawlessness and a power disaster, in Pakistan’s beach city of Karachi. Twelve years later, Sohail Ahmed has converted the highest ground of the previous yarn factory into a futuristic farm, with kale, rosemary and dozens of alternative greens rising vertically below the crimson glow of LED lighting.
Pakistan’s first Urban Karachi city vertical farm is a business challenge, with the produce being provided to probably the most city’s greatest restaurants and supermarkets. But the use of hydroponics, the place plants develop in nutrient answer instead of conventional soil, and where water is often recycled, contributes toward eco-friendly practices through the use of 90 percent of less water than box farming, the usage of no pesticides and omitting fuel emissions involved within the lengthy transportation routes from rural to urban centers- all resulting in the most up to date vegetables in the town.
Ahmed informed Kissan News, “When our family business shut down in 2006, I started to think about different business models with the help of technology. In 2009, I did a course on environmentally friendly and futuristic plant growing technologies. In the next two years, we set up our flower greenhouses in Karachi and Murree,” and added that the good fortune of his greenhouses led him to think about city agriculture as a major business type.
Sohail Ahmed and his son, Farhan Sohail, an engineering graduate from the American University, started working at the city agriculture project in 2016 and by April 2018, their vertical farm have been set up within the 60 ft. room, and already blooming.
“In addition to that, we also artificially provide exactly what the plant needs in terms of carbon dioxide, humidity as well as temperature levels,” Farhan stated.
Urban agriculture is in large part immune to the restraints of local weather prerequisites, which force most farmers in Pakistan to stay away from growing sure vegetation right through the year and including to the country’s import invoice, Farhan stated.
Farhan, who in large part oversees the challenge, said round 2,500 plants of kale, cherry tomatoes, pak choi, iceberg lettuce, swiss chard, wild rocket, thai basil, green and color capsicum, jalapenos, microgreens, parsley, celery, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage are grown within a cycle of 45 to 60 days from the time of seeding to harvesting.
Farhan defined the nutrient solution traveled from a tank into PVC pipes which was inundated, and as the vegetation rested within these pipes, after they were flooded, the roots took water up and the plant watered itself.
Dim LED lights are optimized for each and every plant, adjusted in keeping with its own declared spectrum.
“We have 70 times more production per square meter as compared to field farming,” he mentioned, and added that the elimination of insecticides and preservatives, meant the produce that got here out of his vertical farm was once “extremely healthy.”
“Having setups like the vertical farm allow us to grow these vegetables within our own country throughout the year and then send it to the market,” he said, and added that if the style used to be successful on a big scale, Pakistan may get started generating vegetables for export to world markets as well, especially to the Middle East.