With the global population set to reach 10 billion around 2050, new ways are needed to produce food in a sustainable manner. As 55% of the world population currently lives in cities and this will rise to 70% in 2050, producing foods inside cities will reduce transportation costs and the associated generation of CO2.

This new floating farm is set to open by the end of the year in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam. It will be home to 40 cows producing about 800 litres of milk a day.

Animals will be fed with grass from the mown lawns of the city's stadiums and golf courses, with potato peels from the surrounding restaurants, and with the by-products of the local breweries. The rest of the food will be produced on site in a high-tech greenhouse. This will include the growing of high-protein, fast-growing duckweed and other forages (clover, grass and alfalfa). Opposite, a workshop will be responsible for the packaging and processing of milk. The farm will manufacture its own yogurt and cheese that will be sold in neighbourhood shops.

The floating farm will produce its own energy, with an electrolytic hydrogen production unit powered by solar panels all around the roof. Cow manure will be recycled as fertiliser and rainwater will be recovered. Almost everything will be automated: miniwagons will bring food to the cows, which will be handled by robots. Only three people will be needed to manage the whole infrastructure.