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Extreme Farming

New vertical farming concept that saves farm land space to ensure the food supply of the world.

Photo of Anteneh Gashaw
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Anteneh Engineering

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Addis Ababa

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

The selected place for implementation of this project is farming land in Ethiopia which covers about 60 m² in any part of the country.

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I am Ethiopian. I am citizen and residence of Ethiopia. Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country's economy, accounting for half of gross domestic product (GDP), 83.9% of exports, and 80% of total employment. But for a country which depends on growing food to run the country, the industry is at its lowest efficiency. So, as a citizen of the country and responsible citizen of the world, I would like to bring positive impact in any way I can. The better efficiency of the agriculture industry affects me big time too because the more food production there is, the better food quality and price I can eat. So, instead of complaining I decided to join the challenge in a hope that I can make a difference in the future.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Ethiopia is landlocked country located in Eastern Africa. It borders Kenya, South Sudan, Somali, Djibouti and Sudan. Here are interesting facts about this African nation: Addis Ababa, the capital city, is the highest capital city in Africa, at 2,400 metres. Ethiopia is the second most-populous country in Africa, with a population of over 90 million people by 2015. It is second to Nigeria, which had a population of over 174 million people by 2013. Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. English is the language of instruction in institutions of higher learning. The most widely spoken local languages are Oromo, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya. Allegedly, the Ark of the Covenant that holds the 10 Commandments is in a church in this country. However, only one man knows how true this is, and he is the only one who guards it. Ethiopia fought against the Scramble for Africa, and it is one of the few countries that were not colonized, though Italians occupied it for at least five years. Coffee was discovered in this country, in Kaffa region. A shepherd discovered this famous beverage when his goats ate the leaves and became restless. Ethiopia has a distinct alphabet. The oldest fossil of Early man was discovered here. Abebe Bikila, an Ethiopian, won Africa’s first Olympic gold medal, in 1960. About 70% of the mountains of Africa are in this country. Lake Tana in this country, supplies the Blue Nile River, which feeds the White Nile River before joining the Great Nile River. This country has been mentioned severally in the Bible and the Quran. Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa. The nine sites are Aksum, Fasil Ghebbi, Harar, Konso Cultural Landscape, Lower Valley of the Awash, Lower Valley of the Omo, Rock-Hewn Churches, Simien National Park and Tiya. The Ethiopian Calendar has 13 months and it is 7 ½ years behind the Gregorian calendar. New Year in Ethiopia starts on 11th September and a day later in a leap year. Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital of the continent, since it hosts the headquarters of Kenya African and international organisations such as the African Union, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UNESCO and UNDP. Ethiopia is one of the main destinations for tourists exploring the Horn of Africa. It has a beautiful blend of cultures and delicious exotic dishes. It has numerous airports to get you to any destination within the country. Among these key points of entry is Addis Ababa Airport, also known as Bole International Airport. Source:

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

There are many factors that must be fulfilled for crop to grow in specific land and even if the land fulfills all the requirements, the amount of plants that can be grown depends up on the available farmland space. The less available farmland space, the less carbon is sequestered from the soil and less amount of crop yield and vise versa. This project solves this farming land space problem by taking vertical farming on a new level.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

There are many factors that must be fulfilled for crop to grow in specific land and even if the land fulfills all the requirements, the amount of plants that can be grown depends up on the available farmland space. The less available farmland space, the less carbon is sequestered from the soil and less amount of crop yield and vise versa. This project solves this farming land space problem by taking vertical farming on a new level. It is a rotating structure that has number of partitions (green box) intended to grow the crops on so that it exposes the crop to direct sunlight over some period of time depending up on the location and character of the plant. All the boxes will be exposed x duration of time to sunlight per day. Most garden vegetables require full sun, which is 6 to 8 hr of direct sunlight daily. Plants that grow in partial sun only need 3 to 4 hrs of sunlight, while plants that thrive in shade need only two hrs of sunlight daily. So, all the plants will get this amount of sunlight per day. I have been working on this project for a year, I have been trying to find funding by applying in may programs like

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Vertical farming is a known concept but because of its basic limitation which is sunlight blockage under partitions, it is limited in only in door farming with artificial sunlight and constant supervision. This have high expense and require higher tech. But my solution is better because it is out door meaning its all natural crop, less expense because the system only needs to work some hours per day and will save at least 50% of farmland that is needed to grow crops generating higher crop yield.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Currently the project is at design stage/ pre-prototype stage and I did not received any kind of funding yet. When I get funding opportunity, I will build medium scale prototype in volumetric scale. To achieve that major design has been done and with collaboration with field engineers like mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and structural engineers it is a very achievable task. As seen in the design figure the overall structure space dimension (length by width) for the design is 484 by 1058.143 giving an area of 512,141.212 and the single plant box has dimension (length by width) 300 by 400 giving area of 120,000 and there are 8 of them meaning the total area of the crop boxes is 960,000. This will save space from 1.87 to 2 times. The key outcome of the test will be greater crop yield in a specific area of farmland in compassion with existing prior land farming and show its advantage by building the product on un-farmable landscape which have suitable farming conditions. When transitioning on scale up, all needed is to build a larger version of the mechanism. Planting, Weeding, Harvesting and other farming work are done easily when the box structures are at bottom level one by one because they will reach the same level as ground and when the mechanism is in large scale even tractors can enter on the box. The minimum area required for testing is about 51 meter square land. The time frame of the test and crop will depend up on the location it is conducted but it will be definitely same time as the time it will take to grow that specific farm land. In order for time saving a crop that takes small amount of time to grow will be selected if the climate condition and other factors are in favor.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kehinde Fashua

Welcome Anteneh Gashaw  to the Prize community and thank you for your submission. I like the fact that your Vision is trying to address the issue of space by coming up with vertical farming.

To build a stronger vision for your chosen place, could you explain how your Vision will address the 6 themes; Culture, diet, technology, economics, environment, Policy in your place?

You should also know that the Prize is focused on re-imagining food systems on a smaller scale of land area less than 100,000km2. However, if you choose to continue with a land area above 100,000km2 (Ethiopia) , you should give enough reasons to justify it.

How might you evolve your Vision to make it more inclusive and systemic for your local food system and its numerous stakeholders?

You may also feel free to go through the tool kit (Pages 9, 13,14) to study how Visions will be evaluated based on criteria :

You can always update your Vision at any time before 31 January 2020

Photo of Anteneh Gashaw

Thank you Kehinde Fashua You have some great insights,
I will add more information accordingly in the coming few days!