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Feasibility of Vertical Farming In India: Is It a Viable Alternative

India has one of the world's strongest economies. It is the center for a wide range of cultivated plant species. The majority of India's population relies on agriculture for a living. As a result, with this ever-increasing urbanization, it is vital to invent, research, and apply new strategies to boost food supplies.

Shivani Meena
Hi-Tech Vertical Farms
Hi-Tech Vertical Farms

India is a major producer of fruit and vegetables and a variety of other agricultural commodities. Nonetheless, despite being the world's one of the largest producers. The per capita availability of vegetables remains below the ICMR's recommended rate of 275gms for females and 300gms for males. Vertical farming has recently been started in India.

ICAR scientists are exploring the idea of vertical farming' in soil-less environments, in which food crops can be managed to grow even on multi-story buildings in metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai without the use of soil or pesticides. 

Small-scale adoptions of Vertical Farming in India 

Vertical farming on a small scale has been witnessed in Nadia, West Bengal, and Punjab. Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya in Nadia has had initial success with brinjal and tomato cultivation. Vertical farming has also been successful in growing potato tubers in Punjab. 

  • If vertical farms were incorporated into cities, they would be able to feed the whole population.

  • There is a need for research that appropriately measures the ROI of various types and sizes of vertical farms.

  • The whole life-cycle analysis (LCA) and the number of years required to achieve parity with a traditional farm must be investigated.

  • To make vertical farm projects practicable in these nations, researchers should invent, enhance, and further develop local agricultural practices.

  • They may, for example, develop recycling ways that lessen dependency on water, construct local systems that capture rainwater, and rely on local solar power to provide natural light and electricity.

Vertical farming is an excellent option for city dwellers. It has the potential to increase global food security while also addressing environmental degradation problems. No harvest would be harmed by a severe weather catastrophe. It has the advantage of readily reducing cooling and heating water by interior temperature. It contributes to poverty reduction, food safety, and human well-being. Vertical gardening's effectiveness is determined by food demand and supply, urban population and density, technical advancement, water and energy availability, and weather conditions. 

Status of Indian Vertical Farming Start-ups  

Ideafarms, an Indian design-in-tech firm, produces vertical farms and is liked because their food is organic, of high quality, and the supply is dependable. Greenopia, a Bengaluru-based firm, sells packages that include smart self-watering containers, enriched soil, and the required seeds. The sensor-embedded pots replace soil moisture as needed and warn you when you need to refill water externally. 

U-Farm Technologies, a Mumbai-based start-up, is customizing a modular farm for an individual housing complex or a supermarket utilizing hydroponic gardening techniques. In India, a growing number of vertical farming start-ups are emerging. 

Barriers in the adoption of Vertical Farming in India 

  • Because of the varying climatic conditions in different parts of the world, uniform procedures for vertical farming cannot be implemented.

  • There is a scarcity of crop varieties appropriate for vertical farming. This aspect requires rapid attention from researchers, as the deployment of this technology will be challenging in the absence of suitable varieties.

  • In urban populations, there is a lack of information and skills necessary for farming techniques.

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