The year 2050 might see population growth, reaching 10 Billion, 80% of which is expected to be urbanized. To cater to the food needs of the public, 20% more land currently represented by Brazil would be required if only traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today.
Thus, the concept of vertical farming was introduced in 1999, which is continuously becoming famous worldwide and is expected to account for USD 7.3 Billion in the coming five years.
A practice of growing crops vertically in shackled layers in the scenario when there would be not enough farmland to feed everyone. Even It is more efficient to grow leafy vegetables in vertical farm lot more in quantities in fewer resources than a traditional farm.
Growing in a closed environment with no soil results in no pests and more healthy nutritious food. Plants use 95% less water than traditional farms and 40% less hydroponics and where every aspect of climates can be controlled inside the farms. It may be temperature, humidity, lightning & nutrients. Aeroponics methods are also taken into consideration that uses nutrient-enriched aero-soil in place of soil. It requires automation and high tech systems.
On typical farm tractors are required to re-cultivate the land, to wait for it to dry out, fertilize it then replant which could take at least a week,on a contrary, that time is saved in vertical farming other advantages include Year-round crop production, elimination of agricultural runoff, reduction in the use of fossil fuels, usage of abandoned or unused properties, No weather-related crop failures, Creates new urban employment opportunities, helping to restore ecosystem functions and services.
As far as its limitations are concerned since there are no insects to pollinate the crops, it is done manually, increasing costs. If a vertical farm loses power for one day, it can result in a significant loss for the producer, plus all the crops might die as they are highly dependent on the artificial atmosphere. Crops like grains can be challenging to grow in this type of farming. This is mostly centered on leafy greens and herbs. It is reported that very few vertical farming companies currently operate in profits.
Nonetheless, with equal merits and demerits, vertical farming is rapidly recording growth, even when initial costs incurred are too high big corporate are adopting it mostly in developed economies. Farming innovations like these can surely work as a problem-solving tool for countries that do not have enough land to support their agriculture, which is highly dependent on imports like the island countries.