World's First Floating Dairy Farm Is Set to Open in the Netherlands

An innovative offshore dairy farm will officially be launched in the port city of Rotterdam this year.
Mario L. Major

In the interest of sustainability--which is motivated by space maximization and the smartest possible use and allocation of the Earth's resources--solutions which cover a broad spectrum of fields and areas of research have been put forward. From hydroponic farm setups to floating barges, new approaches to efficient food growth are continuing to emerge.  

One of the most recent examples comes in the form of a fully functioning dairy farm which floats on the water. In what can only be described as a stranger than fiction scenario, Netherlands-based company Belado has engineered a project it refers to as Floating Farm.

As for the farm itself, it will house a total of 40 cows, which means a projected daily yield of 800 liters of milk.

The port city of Rotterdam has been chosen by the company as the first urban location for the innovative initiative. An added bonus is that it will also be hurricane-resistant.

Reclaiming the agricultural potential of urban spaces

Projects like the Floating Farm are blurring the lines between what we consider urban space versus agricultural space, and at the same time they are providing a roadmap for how to navigate the increasing challenges of global food production in the next few decades.

Peter van Wingerden, co-leader of the team behind the project, feels that projects like the Floating Farm are only the beginning: "We can potentially deliver 320,000 litres of milk a year, 7,000 eggs per day and and million crops per year," adding about the pilot city and beyond, "Rotterdam is a perfect test location for this alternative farm, but the real demand is in Asia and Africa, continents that are still rapidly growing and have a demand for alternative food production, he shared with the Holland Herald.

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The project seeks to redefine growing practices worldwide

As global interdependence in all areas, particularly economic and technological, continue to increase at a frantic pace, countries are understanding more and more the importance of looking to their neighbors for dynamic solutions.

This is also becoming the case for agricultural practices: more people, increased life expectancies and crowded urban spaces means food growth practices will need a complete overhaul. 


The good news is that projects that can have a ripple effect in other countries are taking shape. The engineers behind them hope that, once they are developed and off the ground, there will be an interest in translating the vision and adapting it to local spaces. Only in this way can the food revolution envisioned by many industry and government leaders become a reality. For these reasons, the Floating Farm team remains optimistic.

"...we do many other water projects in big cities. We were recently invited to exhibit our projects in Singapore and also work together with the Olympian committee, to supply fresh local products to the athletes during the Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo. And we were approached by the government of Nicaragua to clean up the polluted city lagoon in the capital in a sustainable way," said van Wingerden.