Can Vertical Farming Grow Beyond Herbs and Leaves?


The battle is now on to expand what vertical farming can do. Can the vertical farming pioneers pull it off? And what is getting in their way?

There is just one problem with the vertical farming “revolution”. Unlike the Haber-Bosch process of fixing nitrogen to allow all crops to grow bigger and faster, vertical farming at the moment only really makes sense for a small number of expensive crops (like basil and parsley) — and that’s hardly going to feed the world.

Consumer demand for organic produce has shot up in recent years, with total retail sales hitting €40.7bn in 2018, up from €26.3bn four years before. The idea of vertical farming is appealing for many who have become increasingly conscious about buying products that are sustainably produced.

So far, the usage of water, pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides have been drastically reduced in vertical farming.

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