Vertical farming has become a growing trend with a lot of startups as well as big players investing in the sector. Aerofarms, one such startup, has built the world’s largest vertical farm – a facility that can produce an incredible 2 million pounds of fresh greens every year.
Though not exactly a conventional way to grow food, vertical farming has become the perfect solution to growing food in urban cities. Vertical farming is a method of indoor farming where produce is grown on vertically stacked layers, vertically inclined surfaces and integrated in other structures. These facilities use artificial climate and light control to make the environment favorable for plants to grow.
GROW PLANTS WITHOUT SOIL, SUNLIGHT, WATER
The Aerofarms facility, a warehouse in Newark, New Jersey, uses a technique called aeroponics where plants are grown in a mist environment. They claim that this uses almost 95% less water than field farming and 40% less than traditional hydroponics. Aerofarms also claims that this technique helps them grow plants without soil.
The facility consists of a huge rectangular structure filled with beds of plants stacked over one another. Above these beds are LED lights that are engineered to give the plants the exact amount of light they need for photosynthesis.
Aerofarms claims that their system ensures that no pests are present within the produce. Their methods supposedly destroy the normal life cycle of common pests.
GOODBYE TO HUNGER PROBLEMS
Aerofarms believes that it can produce seventy times the crop yield of traditional farming, without the use of pesticides. They produce 250 different types of herbs and greens that grow on trays stacked 30 feet high inside their 69,000-square-foot warehouse.
The company is growing steadily, having invested $30 million in 9 such plants to synthetically produce greens. The exponential increase in world population means that the world is running out of place for conventional agriculture, simultaneously having more mouths to feed. This avant-garde method of farming could easily be the route to curing the world of hunger problems.