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With our growing population, we have more mouths to feed, yet less arable land for agriculture due to urban development and pollution. Vertical farms may be a solution to this problem.
What are Vertical Farms?
Vertical farms are facilities for crops to be grown indoors and instead of farming on a single plane like a field, they are stacked vertically. These facilities can be integrated into a skyscraper, shipping container or warehouse.
- Controlled environment (light levels, temperature, humidity, weather)
- Reduces land area usage
- Reduces logistics cost and emissions (can be in the middle of the city instead of rural areas)
- Reduces water usage significantly
- Expensive to start-up and maintain
- Limited varieties of crops (imagine only eating lettuce forever ☹)
- High energy usage may negate savings from logistics and water usage
Vertical farms still have a long way to go to be a mainstream replacement of traditional farmland, but with large sums of investment poured into the sector, we can expect to see newer technologies implemented to make vertical farms more efficient and profitable.