Vertical farming is a farming practice that produces plants using soil, aeroponic or hydroponic methods in layers that are vertically stacked. Although it mainly attempts to produce food in a challenging environment, it can be a solution to the problem of shrinking arable land with growing population worldwide. Food futurists and analysts are predicting that high-tech vertical farming operations will be the future of agriculture. It can be operated anywhere. Virtually, vertical farming is invincible against pests, pathogens, and poor weather. Moreover, we are now capable of producing local, fresh, high-quality, and lower-carbon food year-round using this method.
However, there are many challenges to scale up vertical farming. The main one is the associated cost for such set-ups. Another major challenge is the feasibility and availability of technologies. Vertical farming largely depends on the controlled parameters such as lighting and airflow using physical methods to be effective in the long run. Integration of certain technologies and devices such as LED lights, drip irrigation, and airflow controller is necessary to make vertical farming a reality. So today’s farmers need appropriate and localized technology for scaling up vertical farming. As the technologies are advancing towards maturity, vertical farming needs to be more affordable for farmers. Overcoming challenges such as hefty power consumption and expanding crop range with help of technology will certainly increase farmers’ interest in vertical farming.
Dr. F H Ansarey
Managing Director & CEO