WORLD’S FIRST FLOATING DAIRY FARM EXPOSED
By: Chino Opara
With the growth in technological knowhow, it is pertinent that countries, organisations and individuals develop their own technologies to assist the world’s food chain.
The world’s first ever floating dairy farm is located off the major Dutch Port City of Rotterdam and powered by floating solar panels.
Its roof is designed to collect rain water as the three storey structure combines automated agriculture with recycling.
The founder of the floating farms, an engineer turned farmer, Peter van Wingerden, said he has created a revolutionary high tech sustainable system designed to solve issues linked to land cattle farms.
According to him, ”I now know that transporting all the food all over the world is polluting the world, doing damage to food quality, creates food issues that’s why I had to find a different model to bring it much closer to the citizens and that’s what we’re showing over here, theirs is completely different than it has been done ever before so the biggest hurdle is to convince people that we should change this model”
He said they are utilizing the maximum column of the water as underneath the water there’s a floating part, and then the first layer that is called the processing layer, where milk is processed into dairy, manure into fertilizer to give back to the city again.
The second floor, houses the stable which has over forty cows highly automated with milking robots, with feed belt robots.
However, some say its conditions are too unnatural for the animals. For a researcher Jan Willem van der Schans, “these animals that we all like, we like to see them in a meadow and then we bring them into a very industrial environment. I think that’s something that many people think is not the right direction to for livestock farming to go into.”
People will probably want the animals to walk in a natural habitat but Wingerden says animal rights are high on his farm’s agenda “we have rubber floors so there’s no concrete floor, we have more square meters per cows in the stable we have rubber poles instead of steel poles so everything is done not to let the cows hurt themselves so we implemented really the important issues of creating an open stable because of animal welfare” he said.