Market Research Report
Vertical Farming: 2020-2030
|Published by||IDTechEx Ltd.||Product code||929142|
|Published||Content info||451 Slides
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
|Vertical Farming: 2020-2030|
|Published: March 19, 2020||Content info: 451 Slides||
Vertical Farming: 2020-2030
Technologies, markets and forecasts in indoor vertical growing.
Vertical farming is the practice of growing plants indoors under fully controlled environmental conditions in many stacked layers, using artificial lighting instead of relying on the sun. By tuning the growing environment to the exact needs of the plant and using soil-free growing techniques, vertical farming can achieve yields hundreds of times higher than conventional agriculture, 365 days a year and without requiring pesticides.
Supporters of vertical farming claim it could revolutionise global food production, practically eliminating food miles by enabling crop growth right next to urban population centres. At the moment, fruit and vegetables often travel thousands of miles to reach consumers, losing freshness and quality along the way and increasing the risk of contamination. This has been a particular issue in the US, where recent E. coli outbreaks from contaminated produce have led to hundreds of hospitalisations in recent years. By disrupting the highly centralised model for fresh produce, vertical farming could help overcome these issues, while capitalising on the broader consumer trend towards local production.
Investors are responding enthusiastically, with the sector raising over $1 billion in funding since 2015. High profile investments include New Jersey-based start-up AeroFarms raising $100 million in 2019 to expand its aeroponic growing facilities, and Californian start-up Plenty raising $200 million in 2017 in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund, along with backers including Jeff Bezos and Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt. Across the Pacific, the industry is already well-established - in Japan there are over 200 vertical farms currently operating, with industry leader Spread Co. Ltd. producing 30,000 heads of lettuce every day in its highly automated Techno Farm Keihanna plant.
However, despite this optimistic picture, the industry is facing challenges. The sector is littered with bankruptcies - PodPonics and FarmedHere, once operators of the largest vertical farms in the world, closed their doors in 2016 after struggling with spiralling power and labour costs and organisational complexities. Maintaining a controlled environment 24/7 is extremely power-intensive and the everyday running of a vertical farm can require a lot of manual labour, often in environments not designed for the task of growing crops, such as inside shipping containers. Vertical farm operators often end up facing a difficult decision between the high start-up costs of automated, high-tech facilities and the high operating costs of more manual facilities with less advanced climate controls.
Nevertheless, enthusiasm remains high and technology is helping to decrease the costs of vertical farming and make large scale urban food production a reality. This report provides an in-depth discussion of the key technology areas that are helping to make vertical farming a reality, identifying areas that could be key to the success of the industry, such as:
Based on interviews with 16 major players throughout the sector, this report draws insight into the state of the vertical farming industry, discussing the challenges that the industry faces and the factors involved in creating a successful vertical farming company. The report considers the economics of vertical farming in comparison to conventional agriculture and identifies opportunities for players in the industry and the wider value chain.
The report goes on to describe the value chain for vertical farming, as well as business models and how the markets for vertical farming change across geographies, contrasting the rapidly emerging markets in North America with the established markets in East Asia. The report then forecasts the future of the vertical farming industry, predicting that it will rise from its current value of $709 million to $1.5 billion by 2030.
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