Traditional farming is gradually fading away and being replaced with vertical farming. One major reason being that greater food yield is obtained through vertical farms than traditional farms.
What is Vertical Farming?
Vertical farming is simply the practice of growing crops in horizontally stacked layers rather than the traditional horizontal method of growing crops. The term vertical farming was coined by American geologist, Gilbert Ellis Bailey in 1915. In 1999, Dickson Despommier, a professor of Public and Environmental Health at Columbia University proposed the modern concept of vertical farming. Despommier and his students calculated that a 30-storey vertical farm could feed 50,000 persons, this shows that more food yield is assured with vertical farming.
In this post we look at reasons why a farmer should pick vertical farming over traditional farming.
- Vertical farming maximizes land space: with vertical farming techniques the farmer can use about 99 percent less land, this is unlike traditional farming that requires a large land space to grow crops. According to the vertical farming theory by Despommier, a 30 storey vertical farm can just be enough to feed 50,000 persons. This shows that a lot of possibilities exists with vertical farming. Unlike traditional farming, large plots of land are not needed to start up vertical farms, this is an advantage to the farmer as he/she does not need to wait to acquire large plots of lands before engaging in agriculture.
- Vertical farming eliminates the use of chemicals in farming: vertical farms do not need chemicals like; fertilizers, herbicides etc for farming. One reason being that all the nutrients required by the growing plants are supplied to it in the right proportion and there are no weeds in vertical farms. As such the cost of buying fertilizers, herbicides and other weed control chemicals is completely eliminated in vertical farming unlike traditional farming.
- High productivity: vertical farming results in higher food production than traditional farming. Vertical farms can produce about 240 times the yield of traditional farms while using a small space.
- Vertical farming allows for year-round food production: with vertical farming a farmer does not need to wait for a particular season or time before planting his/her crops, especially with indoor vertical farming. This is because in vertical farms temperature and other climatic conditions are controlled hence ensuring food production is optimal all year-round.
Though the capital required to start up a vertical farm can be slightly higher than that of a traditional farm, the benefits of vertical farming outweighs that of traditional farming. It is a more efficient system of farming, vertical farming also reduces stress and labour for the farmer.