Agriculture World

Vertical Farming is the Future of Agriculture Industry

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

World population is said to grow by another 2 billion by the year 2050, feeding humans adequately will become a huge challenge until then. Due to rising industrialization and urbanization, humans are clearing arable land and forests. According to scientists, our planet lost a third of its arable land in just 40 years. Many believe that Vertical farming is the solution for a sustainable living soon. 

As countries are getting rich demand for food is increasing which is pressuring the planet for more cultivation and aggressive use of resources. Due to globalization and the growing population, it is not clear how much more of arable land we will lose. Developed countries are now investing in Vertical farming heavily. 

 What is Vertical Farming? 

 Vertical farming is a simple practice of producing food crops on vertically inclined surfaces, unlike the traditional farming method of single-level like in fields or greenhouses. In this method, food is produced in vertically stacked layers which are integrated into structures like skyscraper or shipping containers. 

Using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology, vertical farming uses indoor farming techniques. This indoor technique uses artificial control of temperature, light, gases, and humidity for food. This farming is mainly used to maximize crop output in a limited area. 

This farming has four important parts 1) Physical layout 2) Lighting 3) Growing Medium and 4) Sustainability Features. 

At first, the crops are cultivated in a stacked-layer in a tower-like structure. Then a combination of natural and artificial lights is used to maintain the perfect light in the room, technologies such as rotating beds are often used to improve light efficiency.

Thirdly, in place of soil aeroponic, aquaponic or hydroponic are used as growing mediums, coconut husks and other non-soil mediums are often used. Finally, various sustainability features to reduce the energy costs of farming is used. Vertical farming use water at a minimal level. 

Developed countries like Singapore, Hong Kong who depend on imports for food products are now investing in Vertical Farming. Sky Greens, first commercial vertical farm and worlds first low carbon vertical farm. This farm produces up to 1,000 kg of vegetables a day. Next year it will reach its full capacity then it can produce 5,000 to 10,00 kg a day.

In Hong Kong, a Vertical farming venture called Farm66 uses modern LED lights and aquaponics in a fully air-conditioned vertical farm of size 20,000 sq ft. This farm produces four tons of lettuce, endive, and cabbage very month.

In the next two decades, 80 per cent of people live in urban cities, increasing the demand for food. Vertical farming offers a solution to such problems. One acre of indoor vertical farming equals 4-6 acres of outdoor farming. This farming use 75-95 per cent less water compared to normal cultivation. As vertical farming is based on the technology of using proper lightning crops can be developed without pesticides. 

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