Control environment agriculture often called vertical agriculture is a form of urban farming that takes place in warehouses, not warehouses instead of acreage and fields, but warehouses full of drawers with plants and seedlings, stacked up to 30 feet or more. It’s a great answer to the environmental concerns of traditional agriculture but it is still new and still has kinks to work out. One great advantage is that it can be located near urban hubs and cut down on transportation costs, in fact some investors insist on that. It relies on LED technology for the needed light but that can sometimes be costly and there is so far only so much LED prices can be stretched and that may already have been reached. Some produce require more LED than others. Lettuce and herbs do well, but tomatoes require a lot more and so do strawberries. Another issue is, can what is being produced meet the increasing demand. It also requires a tech savvy workforce. And yet despite all this the field is thriving. It’s in Pennsylvania, New York, California, Georgia. What makes vertical farming great is the ability to grow food anywhere without consideration of climate. Every company has its own protocols which are well guarded which means that certain specifics about how each goes about it is not known. They guard their intellectual properties, growing system designs, materials and structure. By 2026 vertical farming is expected to grow worldwide to $9.7 billion business from a $3.1 billion one in 2021.
Vertical farming may be a growing business, and it may attract investors, but what’s attractive is not only being its ability to grow food in urban centers outside of traditional farming but also because it is an agricultural method that can transcend the constraints of climate—something that looks so promising.