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Engineering >> 2023, Volume 31, Issue 12 doi: 10.1016/j.eng.2023.08.014

The Skyscraper Crop Factory: A Potential Crop-Production System to Meet Rising Urban Food Demand

a Institute of Urban Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chengdu National Agriculture and Science and Technology Center, Chengdu 610213, China
b Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
c Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China

Received: 2022-09-17 Revised: 2023-06-16 Accepted: 2023-08-11 Available online: 2023-11-03

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Vertical farming systems, such as sky farms, are a potential type of agricultural system for stable and effective food production. Here, we highlight the potential of the sky farm, denoted as the “skyscraper crop factory” (SCF), for cereal crop production and discuss some nascent technologies that would be applied in this production system. SCFs are ideal crop-production systems for increasing the effective arable area for crops and ensuring food security in times of crises that cause a shock in global trade. They can also provide food in urban areas to meet producers’ and consumers’ demands for the increased nutrition, taste, and safe production of cereal crops. Moreover, as their use can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, SCFs could be a sustainable addition to conventional agricultural crop production.

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