Vertical Farming Innovations-Future Agriculture
For years, many have wondered if vertical farming is really the answer to the lack of food in the world. However strange the concept of vertical farming may seem to many startups, it is an ingenious method of producing food in environments where arable land is at most unavailable or rare. This method is particularly useful for challenging environments such as deserts, mountainside towns and cities where many different kinds of vegetables and fruit are grown using precision farming methods and skyscraper-like designs.
Vertical farming can increase crop yields, overcome limited land area and even reduce the environmental impact of farming by reducing the distance traveled in the supply chain. Vertical farming can be defined as the practice of growing products in a closed and controlled environment stacked one above another.
From sustainable urban growth to maximizing crop yields with reduced labor costs, the advantages of vertical farming are obvious. Vertical farming can control variables such as light, moisture and water to measure precisely throughout the year, increasing food production with reliable harvesting. Reduced water and energy use optimizes energy conservation-Vertical farms use up to 70% less water than conventional farms. Labor is also significantly reduced by using robots to manage harvesting, planting and logistics, and by addressing the challenges faced by farms due to current labor shortages in the agricultural sector.
Let’s check out the top vertical farming innovations that could end up on your plate in the near future!
1. Hydroponics – Growing Plants Without Soil
Hydroponics is a predominant system of growth used in vertical farming and is slowly but steadily gaining in importance. It involves the growth of plants in nutrient solutions that are essentially soil-free.
In this vertical farming innovation, the roots of the plants are immersed in a nutrient solution. This is frequently circulated and monitored to ensure that the correct chemical composition of the nutrient solution is maintained.
2. Aeroponics – Growing Plants With No Soil and Very Little Water
The innovation of Aeroponics in the field of vertical agriculture was made by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). This sustainable growth technique was invented by NASA in the 1990s, when it was looking for efficient techniques to grow plants in space.
This technique was then coined by Aeroponics and defined as “growing plants in an air / mist environment with no soil and very little water.” However, these systems have yet to emerge from an anomaly in the world of vertical farming, even though they continue to be of interest.
Undoubtedly, this is the most efficient way in vertical farming, as it uses astounding 90 % less water than the most efficient hydroponic systems. It has also been observed that more vitamins and minerals are taken up by plants grown with the aeroponics system , making plants potentially healthier and more nutritious.
3. Aquaponics – An Ecosystem that Promotes Plants and Fish Farming Together
The Aquaponics System is much like the Hydroponics System, but it’s better than that. The aim is to combine fish and plants in the same ecosystem. In this system, fish grow in indoor ponds and produce nutrient-rich waste, which further acts as a food source for plants grown in vertical farms.
The plants, doing their part, purify and filter the wastewater that is directly recycled to the fish ponds.
However, it is still used by many commercial vertical farms wishing to produce only a few fast-growing crops instead of the aquaponics component. As a result, the issues of production and economics are simplified and also maximize efficiency. That said, this closed-cycle system could become more popular with the popularity of new standardized aquaponic systems.
4. AeroFarms – The Smart Vertical Farming Innovation
When it comes to indoor farming, AeroFarms are the commercial leaders in this field with their innovation in the use of an aeroponic farming system that ensures predictable results of your harvest, less environmental impact, faster harvesting time and superior food quality. Technology helps to grow greens without using any sun or soil.
It is therefore easier to control the results of the harvest. Vertical farming innovation uses smart lighting, smart aeroponics, smart nutrition, smart data, smart pest management , smart substrate and smart scaling.
AeroFarms aims to transform the entire farming system by building and making farms that are environmentally responsible. Farms are being built around the world to ensure that local food production is nutritious, safe , sustainable and delicious.
In short, they want to grow more crops in less space that can bring about a food revolution.
5. Plantscapers – A Building that Provides Food for its Occupants
As populations grow and cities condense, the availability of fresh produce is becoming an increasingly serious issue. The concept of “plantscapers” could allow office buildings to feed thousands of people each year.
From rooftop gardens to “sponge city” architecture, natural elements find their way to city buildings around the world. This contributes to alleviating the effects of flooding, providing food for locals, and even improving air quality. As populations increase within congested urban areas , making locally-produced, fresh food available will become more difficult.