At the pace, our world is developing and with urbanization reaching its peak, there lies an immense threat to modern agriculture due to lack of proper space. This is where comes the savior in the form of vertical farming.
Vertical farming is the form of agriculture where crops are grown in vertically stacked layers. Some common choices of structures to house vertical farming systems include buildings, shipping containers, tunnels, and abandoned mine shafts.
Types of vertical farming-
- Soil farming– Vertical soil farming might sound strange, but it has been there for quite a long-time including window ranches. Given the infrastructure we have at our disposal, soil farming can easily be adapted to vertical means with minimum complexity. Vertical soil farming also means it will lead to the conservation of various resources including space, water, and nutrients.
- Soil-less farming– If there is one aspect of farming that benefits most ergonomically from vertical farming it is soil-less farming. Soil-less farming has various types and each benefit from the vertical form factor in each way:
- Hydroponics– The most commonly practiced agriculture technique, hydroponics is where plants are submerged into water containing soluble essential nutrients and minerals. Being a huge part of urban agriculture, hydroponics using vertical farming turns out to be very efficient and results in a higher yield in a lesser amount of space. This is especially beneficial for hydroponic establishments that use shipping containers, tunnels, etc. Plants like strawberries and turmeric are the best choices to start off with your vertical hydroponic setup.
- Aquaponics– Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics leading to one of the most sustainable forms of agriculture as the grower can suffice from both the crop yield and the fishes as well. Aquaponics has more organic certifications than hydroponics because the plants and the fishes form a closed ecosystem thereby removing the need for artificial nutrients. Since aquaponics requires a lot of space, switching to a vertical form factor means a lot more of the structure can be fit in lesser space leading to more efficiency. Since aquaponics mimics a natural ecosystem it is beneficial for microgreens and vegetables.
- Aeroponics– Aeroponics was developed by NASA in the 1990s to facilitate the growth of plants in controlled space laboratories. It is by far most unconventional as it does not need a solid or liquid medium to grow on. Instead, a liquid solution with nutrients is misted in air chambers where the plants are suspended. It is a futuristic concept that might not be adopted now but will gain prominence in regions that suffer from a shortage of water Aeroponics uses up to 90% less water than others. Since it does not require any solid or liquid medium, it is easier to adapt to vertical design, which further saves energy and money as gravity automatically drains away excess liquid. Aeroponics is highly suitable for growing a variety of plants and herbs especially in arid areas where farming is a lot more limited.
- Indoors– Farming as a hobby has become widely popular in the ever-modernizing world, the demands for a more sustainable indoor farming apparatus have increased. With vertical farming, people can now easily nurture their hobby even in the most limited spaces.
Advantages of Vertical Farming-
- Space Utility: Since the crops are stacked in a vertical manner, the space requirement reduces. More plants can be fit into a lesser amount of space, thus helping many urban growers to properly utilize their limited space.
- Less labour intensive: Owing to the high efficiency of space utilisation, vertical farming is easy to maintain and requires less labour thereby saving excess overhead costs.
- Higher yield: Since more plants can be grown in lesser space, the yield is comparatively higher than regular farming for the same given space.
- Higher yield = Higher revenue: Vertical farming optimizes the use of nutrients, mediums, and minerals. This means a lot of overhead costs are reduced which leads to greater revenue and return on investment.
Disadvantages of Vertical Farming-
- Initial investment: Since vertical stacking requires specialized equipment, the initial investments can be higher. But these problems can easily be fixed with proper optimization of setup which leads to more overall profits. We at KAMALA provide easy solutions for optimizing your initial setup so that you have a hassle-free experience and a setup with much more revenue.
- Expert supervision: Vertical farming is a novel concept in India and therefore needs more supervision by experts. This is where we come with our wide range of consultancy services by experienced professionals so that you can get your dream setup completed without any fuss.
We, at Kamala Farms, are here with our extensive range of services for vertical farming, from setting up the most efficient vertical farm to expert consultation on improving your existing setup. Contact us to know more and learn why vertical farming may be the best for you.