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Vertical Farming Market Predicted to Grow at a CAGR of 24.2% in Near Future

Source: P&S Intelligence

Vertical Farming Market

The number of people living in cities rose to 4.2 billion in 2018 and is further expected to reach 6.7 billion by 2050, as per the World Urbanization Prospects 2018 report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. This migration from rural to urban areas is owed to the increasing population worldwide and growing government emphasis on smart cities. Farmlands are unable to provide adequate amounts of crops to cater to the rising number of people. Hence, there is a dire need for alternate farming techniques, one of which is vertical farming. This farming method makes use of indoor farming techniques and the controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) technology.

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The production of food through this method is done on vertically inclined surfaces. The crops are stacked in vertical layers, which are integrated into structures such as skyscrapers and shipping containers. Vertical farming facilitates the growth of crops in any climate and region, even under extreme temperatures, across the globe. The major crops grown through this process include spinach and lettuce. In 2016, the vertical farming market valued $1.4 billion, and it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 24.2% in the coming years. The two types of structures used for vertical farming are shipping containers and building-based vertical farms. In the near future, building-based vertical farming is predicted to witness a CAGR of 24.6%, as it provides nearly eight times more growing area than single-level farming. It also ensures food security for a city over a long period of time and is cost efficient.

Asia-Pacific’s adoption of this modern agricultural technique is expected to grow the fastest among all regions in the coming years, which is creating huge opportunities for companies who offer vertical farming services and solutions. The two most populated countries on earth — China and India — are facing the problem of the decreasing availability of agricultural land for sufficient production of food due to urbanization and rising population.

Urbanization in these countries is also leading to the rise in the disposable income, which is further projected to drive the demand for vertical farming in the near future. The governments of various countries in this region are indirectly contributing to the increasing adoption of the vertical faming method by investing in the development of smart cities and high-class infrastructure, which is leading to a population shift from rural to urban areas.

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Now, with changing times, the lifestyle of the people in urban areas is also changing. They have become more health conscious and are keenly trying to adopt organic food. In addition to this, the rising per capita income is also driving the adoption of organic food among the urban population. As per an article published by USA Today in 2015, the most concerned consumers about food ingredients, organic foods, and genetically modified food are the ones that belong to the younger generation (below 20 years).

Being health conscious has become a trend for young people, which is why the requirement for organic foods, which are grown without the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, is surging. Vertical farming ensures the same and provides consumers with fresh vegetables and fruits produced in an environment-friendly way without the use of chemicals. Furthermore, the demand for unseasonal fruits and vegetables is also rising, which can be fulfilled through vertical farming.

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