Natural resources are not increasing at the same pace as our demands; around 8 billion human lives depend on farmers and cultivators for their basic need – food. But, with farmlands shrinking due to the expansion of cities and groundwater levels dipping, our generation is facing the biggest climate change threat ever. So, how do we cope with this ‘increasing demand vs decreasing resources?’ Well, the answer is Vertical farming, a cultivation technique that allows farmers to produce abundant food with limited resources.
What is Vertical farming?
Vertical farming or Vertical growing is a way of cultivating fruits and vegetables indoor, on vertically standing structures, under controlled environment conditions. This means you do not need a large plot of land for growing your crops; your harvest is independent of the external conditions (light, temperature, rainfall, etc.) and your yield will have the optimum amount of nutrients in it.
Vertical farming is a form of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) – this means, everything that can affect your crops is under your control, but it also signifies your farm needs more attention and advanced tech than traditional farming practices. These factors make it a costlier process, but once you are done with the required setup for vertical growing, the fruits and vegetables you produce through this process have the best nutrient quality, and you are future-ready for farming.
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Why is Vertical farming becoming popular?
“The fruits of vertical farming are sure to taste sweet”, this statement has its own logical explanation. Despite the current costs and small technical challenges, farmers and companies are more inclined to invest in vertical farming because this technique ensures a profitable return. While this is a big reason for its popularity, there are other notable factors that contribute to the increasing popularity of vertical farming across the globe. Given below are the top five reasons why vertical farming is becoming so widely accepted:
- Vertical growing requires less resource: Surprisingly, vertical farms need 70% – 90% less water than land-based farming. Fruits and vegetables can be grown without soil (hydroponics), and you can produce a good salable quantity of yield in your room.
- Organic and healthy produce: These farms do not require pesticides or any other chemicals and thus, the products are completely organic and healthy. Also, the demand for organic farm products has increased in the global market.
- Aligned with future market needs: Vertical growing allows cultivators to create an ample supply of food from anywhere in the world. It is unaffected by the external environment and as such, higher yield can be obtained, as per the market demand, with limited resources.
- Decreasing cost: As more and more vertical farms come up, agro-scientists, engineers, and startups are directing their efforts to reduce the cost of vertical farming. They are constantly developing and extending the reach of new farming technology.
- Almost risk proof: Vertical farms are unaffected by heavy rainfall, drought, moth attack, or any other natural calamity. Once these are installed, you are sure to get your best yield.
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