The case for Urban Farming / Vertical farming, on one side having much higher productivity with many advantages compared with traditional agriculture like use of Less Water, Better Traceability, Fresher Products, Deduce Wastes, Reduce Food Miles, Year Round Production, 99% Less Land, Reduced/No Pesticides.
As we review urban agriculture technologies, typical components of a Vertical Farm are almost the same by all providers like Structure, Growth System, Lightening, Nutrient Supply, Air Conditioning, CO2 Supply Unit, Environmental Control Unit and some also coupled with AI/ML algorithm for better resource management and predict quality of yield.
In general, I found many Vertical Farming ventures and startups gain lot of traction today but I found most of them lack technology breakthrough or lack understanding to breakthrough in existing agriculture business model, hence could not do a smooth sailing , some of high profile bankruptcies like PodPonics, Tarmedhere, Plantagon and Local Garden etc.
Another big issue is low on profitability . The biggest challenge faced by all hydroponics is Labor Cost, Power Cost, Scale Up cost, low Crop Choices. Some of ventures like Gothmen Green USA reflect one model stand out above the rest.
At the end , i feel the concept of vertical farming products is yet to gain meaning for Asian marketplace as compared to western world due to its premium category. It has to long distance to make a acceptability as alternative to field agriculture produce in terms of capacity, knowledge, cost and supply chain.
“ So over next 40 years, you might have three more billion people to feed. and you look around for the land where thats going to come from in terms of traditional farmins and you dont find it. It isnt there. “PROF. DICKSON DESPOMMIER (Professor of Public health in Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, Author of ” The Vertical Farm – Feeding the world in 21st century”