Stewart Farms wants to establish Canada's largest aquaponics and indoor vertical farming system in St. Stephen.

The 200-ton aquaculture system will help produce two to three million pounds of leafy green produce.

Tanner Stewart, CEO of Stewart Farms. said he is hoping to have the facility operating in 2017.

"Right now we are in our environmental impact assessment phase. We believe that we will be fine," he said.

"One of the main advantages is that it is a very sustainable practice. We use 95 per cent less water. That is our biggest claim to fame."

The system will be installed in a 100,000 square-foot building that was previously used by a company that made fences.

"We stack shelving units and grow leafy green produce, sustainably and organically, vertically. We use aquaponics where you are farming fish at the same time," Tanner said.

Global industry 'exploding' 

Stewart Farms of Albert

Stewart said the plants are grown inside his facility by using LED lighting and the water circulates between the plants and the fish tank. (Submitted)

He said the plants are grown using LED lighting and the water circulates between the plants and the fish tank.

"It's an industry that is in the midst of exploding on the global scale over the next 10 years," he said.

"Indoor vertical farming will become a major player in the agriculture industry in many urban settings and for just a reliable source of farming where you can guarantee what's in your food and what's not in your food."

St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern has been helping Stewart with connections to get him started as well as starting a water-incentive program.

"I think it's a great idea, a great addition to the community," MacEachern said.

"Not only will it [keep] people well-employed but it's all good for the food side of things, a healthier product and it will benefit New Brunswick."