What is vertical farming and what its future potential?

Introduction:

Agriculture or farming is one of the fields in which different methods were used as technology advanced day by day in every sector. Vertical farming is a kind of agriculture in which crops are grown vertically stacked layer by layer. The goal of this form of farming is to generate more food per square meter. Crops are stacked vertically to make the most of available space. It is well-known in urban areas compared to rural regions since it is both soil-based and soil-free farming.

Vertical-Farming
The United States is home to the most vertical farms. In Asia, vertical farming is widely used in Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Vertical farming is a form of farming practiced in India that is based on the usage of playhouses. Because it is a protected method of farming, it yields better productivity and yields of vegetables and fruits in India.

History of vertical farming:

In 1951, it was built in Armenia, which is geographically located in Asia. “Vertical farming did not gain traction as a better method for supporting a burgeoning population until a professor at Columbia University in New York posed a challenging topic to a medical group” graduate students in an ecology lesson in 1999.

Importance of vertical farming:

As the world’s population grows, it becomes more difficult to feed everyone, and as a result of urbanization, agricultural and farming land is diminishing, while food demand continues to rise. As a result, we must find a solution to this problem, and vertical farming is one of the methods that can help us do so.
According to studies, the world has lost a quarter of its arable land during the last 50 years.

Note: According to estimates, the global population will grow to 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.

Vertical farming in India:

Vertical farming is a polyhouse-based agricultural in India. Play-house farming is protected in India, resulting in better production and harvests of vegetables and fruits.

It is critical to investigate the need for vertical farming. As a result, seminars and training programs were developed. Recognize the significance of vertical farming. The current market trends in India deal with and process the demands and equipment.

Turmeric vertical farming in poly-houses is one of the services they offer. Priorities include product quality, timely delivery, and transportation of produced veggies and mints. use trying to cut technologies to optimize sustainable construction while preventing environmental harm and severe consequences for human health and the environment.

Also read: Food crops in India 

Techniques of vertical farming:

There are three types of techniques in vertical farming.
1. Hydroponics.
2. Aeroponics.
3. Aquaponics.

1. Hydroponics vertical farming:

It is a method of producing crops without the use of soil. With each layer of food, hydroponic farms are developed vertically with LED lights. It makes better use of limited space, making it a feasible choice for food production in cities. In vertical farming, it is the most common growth system.

Advantages of Hydroponics vertical farming:
 1. It saves 13 times the amount of water used in traditional farming.
2.There is no dirt involved.
3.There is a reduction in the usage of location.
4.Unparalleled climate control.
5.Nutrient usage is kept to a bare minimum.
6.Maintain a pH of 6.
7.The pace of growth is quicker.
8.There is no weed.
9.There are fewer bugs and illnesses.
10.There are fewer pesticides and herbicides used.
11.Process for saving time.
12.Reduces the amount of tension in the body.
Disadvantages of Hydroponics vertical farming:
1. It takes a long time.
2.Requires some knowledge.
3.The dangers of water and electricity.
4.The possibility of a system breakdown.
5.Discussions on organic nature.
6.Expensive.
7.Investment return.

2. Aeroponics vertical farming:

Aeroponics is the most long-term soil-free growth method. NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) created aeroponics in the 1990s, which allowed plants to thrive in space. Due to a lack of growth medium, the aeroponics system was erected vertically. No growing medium is utilized, and the root systems are mostly exposed to the air.

Advantages of Aeroponics vertical farming:
1.It conserves energy.
2.Land and soil are not necessary for plant development.
3. Due to the high quality of the crop and quick growth rates, product turnover will be expedited.
4.There are no pests in there.
5.It is simple to view and study the plant roots.
6.Easy to maintain.
7.Less room is required.
Disadvantages of Aeroponics vertical farming:
1.Highly depend on technology.
2.It is risky method if you don’t Research and understanding the needs.
3.It is a costly method.
4.It requires constant monitoring to be successful.
5. The root chamber in aeroponics must be disinfected on a regular basis.
6. The machinery is highly reliant on automated systems so it is difficult to handle when something goes wrong.
7. For long-term expansion initiatives, only high-pressure systems are acceptable.
8. Noise can be an issue with aeroponics devices.

3. Aquaponics vertical farming:

It is a mixture of aquaculture which is fish farming and hydroponics which is a technique of growing plants without soil. In this method, the fish water when infected with water it serves to plant it absorbs the nutrients and purify the wastewater and again recycled back this water to fish tanks. Aquaponics, which includes an aquaculture component, is not as common as traditional hydroponics.

Advantages of Aquaponics vertical farming:
1.It requires 90% less water than typical agriculture.
2.It aids in the maintenance of temperature at night in order to save energy.
3.grow crops without utilizing pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
4.It is efficient.
5.Effective and long-lasting.
6.Natural fertilizers derived from fish.
Disadvantages of Aquaponics vertical farming:
1.Excessive use of electricity.
2.The price is prohibitively high.
3.Some fish and crop species are ineligible for this technique.
4.It must be professionally installed.
5.The possibility of an unanticipated failure.

Types of vertical farming:

1. Farms based on abandoned buildings:

Abandoned buildings are utilized for vertical farming to gather crops and raise cattle. According to construction, new buildings are sometimes utilized for vertical farming.
For example, in Chicago, there is a farm named “The Facility,” which was converted from an old meatpacking plant.

2. Shipping-container vertical farms:

Recycled shipping containers were utilised in this project, and they are becoming a more common choice for hosting vertical farming. Instead of using soil, Sprout Stack grows lettuce, kale, mizuna, and beanstalks hydroponic system using the core waste of industrial coconut manufacturing.
A single shipping container can produce 2500 heads of cabbage each week, which is roughly 30% quicker than traditional farming. Only 27% of indoor vertical farming operations are profitable. In the meanwhile, half of all container farms make a profit.

3.Deep farms:

A “deep farm” is a vertical farm made from refurbished subterranean tunnels or disused mine shafts. It is an alternative approach to large scale crop production. . It’s a different way of doing large-scale agricultural production. A wide range of crops is grown in deep farms utilizing hydroponic planters.
It uses less energy and is close to underlying water, lowering water delivery costs. It is a low-cost technology that produces 7 to 9 times greater yields on the same piece of land as a traditional farm, i.e. above ground.

Characteristics of vertical farming:

1. They are found in or close to densely populated areas.
2. They’re based on soilless growth techniques (hydroponic or aeroponic).
3. They repurpose land and/or buildings in innovative ways.
4. They use sophisticated technologies to regulate growth conditions in order to maximise resource efficiency and plant output.
5. They give more growing area than their size suggests by stacking or vertically orienting growth pots.
6. They preferentially serve local markets in the event of food cultivation (as opposed to medicinal crops).
7. Water and nutrient inputs are recycled, and resource use is drastically decreased.

Advantages of vertical farming and Disadvantages of vertical farming:

Advantages of vertical farming:

1.Crop yield is increased with small unit of area of land requirement.
2. Protection from the elements.
3. Crop yields are consistent throughout the year.
4. Pest control is provided.
5. Crop losses are reduced.
6. Profits will rise.
7. Animals and invasive plant species are protected.
8. Water conservation.
9. The ability to grow a wide variety of plants.
10. Imports of crops aren’t as necessary.
11. Vertical farming has the potential to be completely organic.
12. Composting is a method of generating energy.
13. Crop yields that are consistent.
14. There will be less habitat degradation.
15. More efficient use of land.

Disadvantages of vertical farming:

1.A vertical farming project needed the assistance of an expert.
2. High initial investment
3. Operational costs are high.
4. Energy usage is high.
5. Significant upkeep is required.
6. Labor costs are high.
7. Pollination issues
8. A faulty setup might result in the proliferation of pests.
9. Official permits may be required.
10. There is a lack of infrastructure for agricultural processing.
11.Technology is still in its infancy.
12. Plants may have fewer nutrients.
13. Only specific types of plants are acceptable.
14. People living in rural areas may lose their jobs.
15. The issue of technology has the potential to generate major issues.

Also read: Mixed Farming

Vertical farming crops list:

1. Romaine, Butterhead, Red Leaf, and other lettuces.
2. Varieties of kale (Tuscan, Winter Boar, and Dinosaur.)
3. Collard greens and chard greens.
4. Chive and mint leaves.
5. Basil (nine) (Sweet, Lemon, Cinnamon, etc.)
6. Herbs with a little woody stem.

Difference between Vertical farming and Traditional farming:

Vertical Farming

Traditional Farming

1. Vertical farming is a form of cultivation wherein plants are arranged layer after layer vertically. 1. A primitive kind of agriculture and farming that largely relies on traditional peoples.
2.Water is used 95% less in this method than in traditional farming. 2. A  lot of water use.
3. It is soil-based as well as soil-free farming. 3. It is only a soil-based system.
4. Produced higher yields and a quicker growth rate. 4. Produced yields are lower, and the pace of increase is slower.
5. Natural fertilizers should be used more often. 5. Artificial fertilizers will be used more often.
6. It is more expensive than conventional farming. 6. Compared to vertical farming, it is a less expensive approach.

Q and A:

1. What is the cost of vertical farming in India?
Ans:- In India, vertical farming may be started for as little as Rs 4000 to Rs 5000. If you’re doing it for your own family and not for profit, you can raise the price to Rs 8000 to 10,000 depending on demand. This is dependent on the commodity you choose and the amount of area you have available for farming. When it comes to choosing a product, however, if you spend a small amount of money, you will have fewer options.

2. What is vertical turmeric farming cost in India?
Ans:- The cost of vertical turmeric farming in India is Rs. 43,441 per acre, and one acre may produce 16 – 18 quintal turmeric, with one quintal turmeric costing between Rs. 5700 and 6000 in India. As a result, you may expect to make a profit of between Rs. 55,000 and Rs. 60,000.

3.which crops are suitable for vertical farming?

Ans:-Romaine, Butterhead, Red Leaf, Tuscan, winter boar, Dinosaur, Sweet, Lemon, Cinnamon, Trees, Shrubs, and Some Vines are among the crop’s ideal for vertical gardening.

4.is vertical farming profitable in India?
Ans:- Yes, it is especially beneficial for urban people who can produce food on their property, such as their rooftops or walls, and perform vertical farming at least for themselves and their families, rather than for commercial purposes. Vertical farming is lucrative in India since cultivable land is scarce due to India’s rising population, thus it is a wonderful alternative for farming, and vertical farming will become more popular in India in the future.

5.Which vertical farming companies are in India?
Ans:-The Barton Breeze firm, which is based in Gurugram, Haryana, India, and whose founders are Dr Brahma Singh, Sanjay Sood, and Dheeraj Joshi, launched in 2015 with 25 employees and a revenue of $5 million.

6.What are the problems of vertical farming?
Ans:- Employee-transmitted dirt and germs, chemicals in the nutritional medium, water purity and safety, and thread handling facilities like sorting, trimming, and shipping are all possible hazards. Labour and power expenses, on the other hand, pose a problem. Another downside of vertical farming is that it is presently restricted to high-value, incredibly simple crops like leafy greens and herbs, where the majority of the product may be consumed.

7.What is the future of vertical farming?
Ans:- Vertical farming will become more popular in the future due to population growth, land scarcity, and rising food demand, all of which indicate that vertical farming will become more popular in the future. According to researchers, the population will reach 9 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, indicating that vertical farming will become more popular.

 

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