A 1,000-acre agribusiness cluster in Hampton County will employ more than 1,500 people, according to a news release.
The jobs will be in growing, packing and shipping tomatoes, leafy greens, blueberries and other fresh produce using a “cutting-edge” approach called Controlled Environment Agriculture.
The $314 million Agriculture Technology Campus will encompass multiple greenhouses and hoop-houses, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and a large co-packer. The joint venture project is between Mastronardi, Clear Water Farms, LiDestri Food and Drink and GEM Opportunity Zone Fund.
Controlled Environment Agriculture is a technology-based approach to indoor farming that allows growers to minimize space and conserve water while controlling for factors like weather. The Agriculture Technology Campus cluster is projected to increase total economic output in Hampton County by $551.7 million a year, or $7.4 billion over 15 years, according to an economic impact study commissioned by the department.
The campus is expected to be operational in 2022.
“The Agriculture Technology Campus investment in South Carolina agriculture is transformative, creating jobs in the Hampton County region and future opportunities for South Carolina farmers,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “A Controlled Environment Agriculture project of this scale will conserve land and water and offer South Carolinians more chances to buy local produce.”