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Watch: World's first smart farm in a tunnel

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By Seana Davis  with AP
Watch: World's first smart farm in a tunnel

A company in South Korea has built the world's first smart farm in a tunnel.

The high-tech indoor vertical plant factory was built by the business "NextOn" who began renting the 48-year-old tunnel from the South Korean government last year.

Located 190 kilometres south of the country's capital city, Seoul, the tunnel is now illuminated by LED lights, with the plants growing vertically without the need for soil.

The farm is now also one of the largest of its kind with a floor area of 2,300 square metres.

Speaking of the project, Dave Suh, Chief Technology Officer of NextOn, said: "A closed plant factory, which is considered a key role in the innovation of future agriculture, has been facing difficulties with growing a profitable business model."

The company "integrated a tunnel environment which naturally maintains consistent temperatures suitable for plants' growth all year and semiconductor technologies which we have secured", Suh said.

Suh added that the company aims to begin mass production of plants by the end of the month.

This July, global climate temperatures were reported to have been more than 0.4°C warmer than average.

Indoor high-tech facilities for plant growth are seen to be a possible solution for sustainable farming, reducing water and energy compared to contemporary practices.

Video editor • Thomas Duthois