In the last 50 years our planet has lost about one third of its arable land due to uncontrolled human activities paving way for global warming. It’s predicted that by 2050, there will be a huge rise in urban population due to migration of people from villages to cities in search of livelihood. More the population more will be the increasing demand for food. To meet the ever rising food demand, traditional farming will not be be practically effective in the coming future. In this scenario vertical farming can be a boon to the farmers.
In vertical farms crops are accrued in stacked layers in a tower like structure with the perfect light level in the room through an ideal combination of natural and artificial lights. To improve the lighting efficiency rotating beds technology is used in these farms.
The climate inside the farm is well-regulated since it uses Controlled Environment Agriculture technology (CEA), so the dependency on sunlight and outer weather is reduced to minimum. Also the requirement of temperature, humidity or moisture by the plants is taken care off through artificial control. To make vertical farming more sustainable and feasible non-soil mediums like peat moss, and coconut husks are used than aeroponics and hydroponic techniques to balance energy cost of farming , since the water consumption is reduced by 95%.
Getting Prepared for Future
With the ever increasing population, the arable land per person will be reduced by 65 percent by 2050.The efficient use of vertical farming may perhaps play a major role in preparing for such a challenge because vertical farms allow for a multitude of different crops to be grown and harvested at once.
Year-Round Crop Production
As crops grow in controlled environment which fulfills their nutritional and physiological requirements irrespective of the weather conditions hence they could be grown in any time of the year and the produce can be obtained throughout the year. All-season cropping multiplies the productivity of the cropped area by a factor of 4 to 6 depending on the crop.
In vertical farms the growers are not exposed to risks related to bulky farming machineries, diseases, exposure to dangerous chemicals and so on. It safeguards biodiversity as it causes least disturbances to flora and fauna of that particular place where it is located.
Vertical farming saves a lot of water as they can grow crops with 80 to 95% less water than the required amount for normal cultivation. Of course, conventional farmers also use water conservation techniques such as drip irrigation, green manuring and mulching. The conservation results won’t be as favourable as producing food indoors reduces or eliminates traditional ploughing, planting, and harvesting by farm machinery, protecting soil texture and structure, and reducing carbon emissions.
Eliminating Dependency on Weather Conditions
Farmers can have a remarkable certainty of harvest throughout the year. Crops grown in traditional farming land depend on favourable weather and are affected by undesirable temperatures rain, monsoon, hailstorm, floods and drought.
Since global warming has posed a great threat to the environment, cultivating plants indoor will significantly diminish unwanted consequences.