You might have visited the grocery shops to buy the essential items Right? What if you find instant and freshly harvested veggies and fruits such as fragrant basil, juicy sweet strawberries, red ripped tomatoes and many more freshly produced fruits! Yes you can have all these from vertical farms. Well, it all sounds enticing but farmers produce all these outputs indoors by controlling light, water, temperature, carbon dioxide and all the favorable conditions. Another interesting fact is that the fresh produce grown on vertical farms just has to manage the distance of a few miles from the farm to grocery stores.
Fresh local agriculture products can help in increasing food production and expanding agriculture operations as the population of the world is increasing day by day. We can say that this population growth would enhance urbanization also, so producing fresh green veggies close to the urban population could help in meeting the global food demand. This also reduces the carbon emission and supply chain processes and provides higher nutrient production with the least water usage. So let’s discuss vertical farming more briefly!
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What is Vertical Farming?
Different sizes and types of vertical farms exist, but they all function the same way. As the name suggests in vertical farms the crops are grown vertically in a tower formation. In tower-style framing, the crops are grown upward in the ways of supporting the structure. On the other hand, another way is stacked where the vertical stacks grow rays supported by the shelves on one another. Moreover, the vertical farms are managed in the indoor areas by managing all other essential commodities. It makes it easier for the farmer to regulate everything from temperature to humidity, light, and water cycles.
Furthermore, the hydro plants do not use the soil as they rely upon hydroponics to deliver the nutrients to the plants. In this method, the water is cycled to the plant-holding growing trays after being saturated with fertilizer solution. In addition to this, some growers employ aeroponics to feed the plants nutrients. A form of hydroponics and aeroponics uses pressurized nozzles to force water through the soil. This helps in generating some droplets of water that are delivered directly to the roots of plants.
Thus vertical farms are established in the buildings, warehouses and homes. In urban areas, these vertical farms are being used as rooftop gardens. In a nutshell, the concept is to grow plants and crops in a way that is more affordable, accessible, and sustainable.
Benefits of Vertical Farming
Vertical framing is useful in producing large and consistent quantities and qualities of food. Here some prime benefits of vertical farming are described:
Better Use of Space
If we look at the traditional farms we observe that they need fertile arable land. But the vertical farms are designed and constructed such that they can operate in any environment, regardless of weather or temperature challenges.
The stacking system of growing allows them to expand upwards, it is good to achieve higher productivity on a small land area.
Indoor farming is advantageous for the environment as it reduces the number of fossil fuels needed for farming that are not required to sow, fertilize or harvest the crops. It also helps in biodiversity as it does not cause a land surface disturbance. And this helps the natural animal population that lives on land around areas.
Reduce Transport Cost
As far as food production is considered a large part of this process is the supply chain. It is quite common to ship the crops across the oceans and continents. In this case, growing the food near to the customer is the best option as it reduces the transportation cost, carbon dioxide emission and storage cost too.
No Chemical or Pesticides
Growing the crops through vertical farming offers the opportunity to eliminate the use of pesticides and chemicals.The rationale is that pests are unable to harm crops in the regulated environment. With this, the humidity is also managed so there is no risk of fungal diseases also. The result is that the produce is fresh, free of chemicals, healthier and safer.
Effective Even in Adverse Weather conditions
Growing the crops in a fully environmentally controlled atmosphere eradicates the need to rely upon the weather. As we have seen, the crops get damaged through excessive rain, wind and drought. Vertical farming is effective in adverse climatic conditions also and provides 100% harvest certainly.
How Vertical Farming Will Change Agriculture?
Contrary to traditional farming, vertical farming has made it possible for us to grow crops in a controlled atmosphere. Vertical farming will change agriculture as growing the crops on big farms and then transporting them is an expensive and time-consuming effort. Whereas vertical farming helps in supplying the produce from neighborhood buildings to grocery shops.It clearly shows that the food is fresher and that less fuel is needed.
Moreover, controlling the growing environment, enables the products to last for 13 to 14 days rather than three to four days for the same product from conventional farming. Thus vertical farming will change agriculture by controlled environment conditions.
Why is Vertical Framing not a Global Solution?
As far as vertical farming is concerned cost is the big issue. While the sunlight and rain are free, the cost of running LED lights, software, and advanced growing techniques is high. Free Think Says that electricity from wind turbines and vertical farms that are using fossil fuels may add another problem to climate change.
Besides this buying, the building or real estate for vertical farming is also an expensive aspect. Although apart from all these hurdles vertical farming is growing but in extremely slow motion. With this we should also know about innovative economic to introduce new aspects of innovation.
Vertical farming in indoor areas is the best key option for fulfilling the demand for food. As the population is growing disastrously and meeting the requirements of the massive people is also an integral aspect. Therefore vertical farming is a boon in such a technical era where highly technical advancements are taking place. With this, it supports lower carbon emissions. Thus the vertical framing technologies are still relatively new and the companies are yet to produce the crops successfully and make it economically feasible to meet the demand for food.
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