Vertical Farming: A New Future for Food Production

Vertical Farming: A New Future for Food Production

The world’s population is expected to grow by another 2 billion people by the end of 2050, and feeding people is soon going to be a big challenge. The arable lands are on a rapid decrease, all due to industrial development and urbanization. Vertical farming could be the answer…

Imagine a scenario wherein crops are not grown in traditional farms with water and soil as the main components but vertical gardens, in an indoor controlled environment.

Sounds like sci-fi? Nope. This scenario is going to become mainstream, soon!

According to scientists, we have lost 33 percent of the arable land in the last 40 years. Increasing food demands due to a growth in population, and decreasing arable land are soon going to the biggest problems. Water is also going to be another hurdle to food production.

In a situation like this, we need a food system that could feed a large number of people without stressing our existing resources, and vertical farming sounds like the right answer.

What is Vertical Farming?

Vertical farming, also known as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), is the process of producing food in a factory-style situation without using typical natural resources like soil and sunlight to grow the food. These needs are instead fulfilled by innovative lighting and nutrient delivery technologies.

Vertical farming makes use of three main systems: aquaponics, aeroponics, and hydroponics. All these systems support the growth of vegetation without using soil and rely on nutrient-rich water solutions which are accessed by the roots of the plants directly.

Shortening supply chains

One of the best parts of vertical farming is that it makes way for faster, and more controlled production, irrespective of the season.

Vertical farming ensures better productivity. As a matter of fact, one acre of vertical farming is capable of producing food equivalent to 10-20 acres of traditional production.

These farms could also provide relief to people in areas with limited access to healthy food, thus addressing the growing issue of food deserts.

Reduced environmental impact

Vertical farming will put an end to the exploitation of soil and land. It will limit the use of conventional agrochemicals like insecticides, synthetic fertilizers, and herbicides. It will also reduce the land requirement to about 10-20 times.

What’s more, there will be a year-round crop production, and produce will not depend on the weather conditions. Do not be surprised if you get to enjoy mangoes, and melons all the year-round.

It is expected that vertical farms will consume 70 to 80 percent lesser water when compared to traditional farming methods.

The Key Takeaway

As is evident, vertical farming could help address significant challenges related to global food production in the coming decades. It offers a realistic alternative to conventional agriculture methods, and is capable of feeding a large number of people whilst addressing environmental concerns.

This is the reason perhaps why a recent forecast from Global Market Insights revealed that vertical farming industry is expected to expand by 25% by 2024 to achieve a market valuation of €11.4bn. Sperotec is highly positive about this and believes that the use of technology in farming could transform the way food is produced today.

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