Worth the Buzz? Let’s look at Vertical Farming

Have you ever heard of vertical farming? Believe us, not everyone has. Which is interesting, because it will pay off to have a closer look at it. Vertical farming has the potential to drastically change the way we supply food within the next decades and can create lots of interesting job opportunities. This is how it works.

Vertical farming is the process of producing food in vertically stacked layers or vertically inclined surfaces, for example inside skyscrapers. The keys to success lie within an environment where factors like light, gases, fertigation or temperature are fully controllable. An important aspect of vertical farming is the chance to move farms from rural areas into big cities and urban environments, establishing them in big buildings, towers and skyscrapers.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR US

Benefits of Vertical Farming:

Vertical Farming brings along many advantages, but also a lot of challenges. On the good side vertical farming can have positive effects on feeding a growing world population with plants that grow crops year-round. It is, for example, estimated that by the year 2050, close to 80% of the world’s population will live in urban areas and the total population of the world will increase by 3 billion people. Farmland will become scarce but this population needs to be fed. Vertical farms can be of help here, since they also reduce costs and efforts for logistics. They provide food constantly, since they are sheltered from meteorological events such as strong rainfalls, undesirable temperatures, monsoons, hailstorms, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires or droughts.

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Challenges of Vertical Farming:

Although Vertical Farming can decrease costs for logistics, a disadvantage of the concept may be that artificial lighting, heating and powering can produce higher costs that are not easy to calculate. Also, some studies have shown that transportation costs are only a minor contributor to the costs of supplying food to urban populations. Furthermore, it is possible that these farms produce more greenhouse gases than fields, largely due to higher energy use per kilogram, mainly caused by extensive and increased lighting.

HERE ARE SOME JOBS VERTICAL FARMING CREATES:

Vertical Farm Architects

The architecture plays an essential role for a vertical farm system. Architects specializing in vertical farm designs integrate the design of the infrastructure and the food production capabilities of the system to create a new urban environment. To become an architect for a vertical farm you need a degree in architecture.

Horticulturists

Horticulturists grow plants by applying knowledge, skills and technology. Their task is to propagate plants with the goal of improving the growth, quality, yield, nutritional value and resistance to pests, diseases and other environmental stresses. They can work as growers, gardeners, therapists, designers or technical advisers.

Agricultural Engineers

Agricultural engineers combine knowledge in engineering science with technology, agricultural production and processing. They perform environmental impact assessments and agricultural product processing. They also plan, supervise and manage the construction of agricultural systems. A Bachelor’s Degree in agricultural engineering or biological engineering is a must.

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