Government issues vertical farming call

08-04-2021    10:38   |    Royal Gazette

The Government has urged companies interested in bringing vertical farming to Bermuda to step forward through a new request for information.

The RFI calls for expressions of interest for parties who want to launch a commercial vertical farming operation “founded on principles of sustainability and environmentally friendly technology”.

Produce would be expected to be herbicide, fungicide and pesticide free, along with non-genetically modified.

The submission deadline for the RFI is 5pm on Wednesday, March 31.

Submissions must include financial projections including sales volumes and corresponding revenue and relevant costs.

Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, said in November the Government had been working with US firm AeroFarms to “design and implement a vertical farming facility in Bermuda”.

Asked what the RFI meant for the relationship between the Government and AeroFarms, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said the RFI was put out as part of the office’s due diligence efforts.

She said: “Through an RFI, the Government is seeking to determine if other interested parties were either contemplating or were in the process of producing commercial vertical farming in Bermuda.

“Interested entities who wish to engage further about this exciting, innovative and environmentally sustainable project should visit”

Vertical farming involves the production of crops in a controlled environment, usually indoors, using techniques such as hydroponics instead of soil and the crops grow in stacked layers.

The Government said last November that it was close to finalising plans to bring a vertical farm to the island to help meet Bermuda’s demand for fresh produce.

Mr Furbert said at the time the plan could reduce the cost of food production in Bermuda and generate 30 jobs.

He added that the proposal would be put to the Cabinet Committee for Economic Development later that month – but no further announcements have been made.

Source and Photo Courtesy of Royal Gazette

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