The first phase of a vast urban farming project in Paris is now under way following a two-month delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Set on a Paris rooftop, the farm is set to grow over the next two years to become the largest urban farm in Europe.
The farm, on a rooftop of the Paris Exhibition Centre in the south-west of the city, currently covers an area of 4,000m², but those behind the project plan to expand the agricultural space to 14,000m² by 2022.
They hope to be able produce around 1,000kg of fruit and vegetables every day in high season thanks to a team of around 20 farmers while providing a global model for sustainable farming where produce is grown locally and according to the seasons.
“The goal is to locally supply healthy, pesticide-free products to local businesses, company restaurants, and to farming associations in a nearby area,” Agripolis president Pascal Hardy told AFP.
Along with commercial farming, locals are able to rent space on the rooftop to grow their own fruit and veg, while visitors can sample the produce at an on-site restaurant.
The farm is part of what appears to be a growing trend in the French capital to produce and consume food locally, with a number of urban farming projects springing up around the city in recent years, while Paris City Hall has committed to creating 30 hectares of urban farming space in the city in 2020.
“The real trend today is towards quality local products, more so than organic,” said Hardy.
“We’re at the top of the organic wave, but we’re on the way down, and the challenge now is to be able to show how the products were generated, and also to show that they don’t come from the other side of the planet, like beans from Kenya, for example, or from deep in Spain with farming practices that are not very virtuous.”