Factors driving the growth of the vertical agricultural market include increased demand for pesticide-free food, a growing world population and increasing demand for year-round global food production, and less dependence on weather conditions further improving the demand for vertical agriculture. In addition, advances in irrigation techniques, advanced plant breeding and the development of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers would increase the growth of the world market for vertical agriculture in the coming years.
VERTICAL AGRICULTURE – INNOVATIVE AGRICULTURE
The world is expected to reach 9.1 billion people in 2050. Innovation is in demand, which is one of the determining factors for vertical agriculture. Creating a vertical farm would allow demand to be met with less impact on land and water resources. Vertical agriculture is now being implemented worldwide. Vertical farms produce crops in stacked layers, often in controlled environments such as those built by AeroFarms in Newark, New Jersey. Vertical farms use technology called aeroponics, which allows crops to grow on top of each other without soil, sunlight or fertilizer. AeroFarms claims to use 95% less water than a traditional farm because of its specially designed root misting system. Automatic seed drills, harvesting robots, greenhouse roof washers, indoor agriculture has long relied on automation and this trend is increasing the demand for technology. Many technologies are still emerging, such as the dragging robot at the Canadian Research Centre Vineland, which harvests mushrooms.
VERTICAL AGRICULTURE IN EUROPE
Vertical agriculture in Europe is expected to record the highest compound annual growth rate over the forecast period. Europe’s vertical agricultural market is fuelled by major initiatives taken by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which focus on raising awareness among farmers to create a vertical farm in order to face challenges such as climate change, continued population growth, safe farming practices, producing food ecologically, in quality and quantity.
VERTICAL AGRICULTURE IN THE WORLD
The United States had the largest market share of vertical agriculture in North America in 2016. Several variants of vertical farms are being tested across the United States. New innovations and technologies are expected to increase the energy efficiency and profit margins of these farms in the future. The number of vertical farms is under construction in the United States and is expected to be fully operational in the coming years. Countries such as Canada have fertile railroads, smaller populations and no food shortages. However, many vertical farms for growing specific crops have been built in the country. Mexico is an emerging market for the vertical agricultural market in the North American region. Asia-Pacific is now the largest market in the global vertical agricultural market. The growth of the market in the region is linked to the awareness of the importance of alternative methods of agriculture due to the rapid increase in population and the low availability of agricultural land.