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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

In Rotterdam, the world’s first ‘floating farm’ is helping save agricultural land

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By Euronews with AFP

In Rotterdam, the world's first 'floating farm' is helping save agricultural land

The port of Rotterdam is not only the largest in Europe, but also the location of an unusual farm.

Since 2019, dairy cows have been kept here – in a barn that floats in the harbour basin.

“The world is under pressure and there is less and less agricultural land”, co-owner Minke van Wingerden explains.

“Our idea is that we can create a farmland near the city that can adapt to the climate.”

“When we asked the port management if we could set up a dairy farm in the port, we were told: are you actually completely nuts?”

The owners say the floating farm is helping “prevent food losses, reduce food transport and improve food quality”.

The project however has been criticised by the Dutch Animal Welfare Party, particularly after two cows fell into the harbour basin and had to be rescued.

A highly-technological farm

For most of the farm’s operations, there is no need for personnel in the floating cow barn.

A robot is responsible for milking, while the milk is processed right away, on site.

The cattle in the harbour are fed, among other things, with grain from a local brewery and grass clippings produced by mowing Rotterdam’s football fields and golf courses.

The resulting cow manure is processed into garden pellets.

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