As the global population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the challenges of food supply and food security are becoming more pressing. The increasing scarcity of agricultural land and water shortages are putting pressure on traditional farming methods. Indoor farming, also known as vertical farming, offers a promising solution to these challenges.
Indoor farming involves food production in enclosed spaces where environmental factors like temperature, humidity, light, CO2 content in the air, and nutrient content in the soil can be precisely controlled to foster optimal plant growth. Siemens, a global leader in automation and digitalization technologies, is providing solutions to make indoor farming safer and more productive.
For instance, Siemens has partnered with 80 Acres Farms, an indoor farming company that uses 100 percent renewable energy to run its farms, yields 300 times more than conventional farmland, and uses 95 percent less water. With Siemens’ technologies, 80 Acres Farms is able to monitor and adjust the growing conditions of its crops around the clock, ensuring perfect plant growth.
Indoor farming also offers resource-conserving benefits. By growing crops in hydroponics, which involves growing plants in a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil, the same amount of food can be produced on a much smaller area compared to traditional agriculture. Additionally, the yield is significantly larger, making indoor farming an efficient and sustainable way to produce food.
The future of agriculture lies in new concepts like indoor farming, which will help meet the growing challenges of food supply and food security. With digitalization and automation technologies, optimal plant growth can be ensured, making indoor farming a safe and productive alternative to traditional agriculture.
Vertical Farming: A Sustainable Solution to Climate Change and Food Insecurity
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, with agricultural production being one of the most impacted sectors. To address this challenge, farmers, agronomists, agricultural engineers, and scientists are turning to innovative solutions such as vertical farming. This practice involves growing crops in vertically stacked layers, using artificial lighting, and precisely controlled environments. Vertical farming provides numerous benefits, including year-round production, reduced water usage, and higher crop yields.
One significant advantage of vertical farming is its ability to overcome climate-related challenges. With traditional agriculture, crops are susceptible to weather changes such as droughts, floods, and extreme temperatures, leading to reduced yields and crop failures. However, indoor farming can operate independently of weather conditions, ensuring a steady and reliable food supply. In addition, by reducing transportation distances, indoor farming can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment.
Another advantage of vertical farming is its flexibility in terms of location. Unlike traditional agriculture, which requires fertile land, favorable climatic conditions, and sufficient space, vertical farming can be established virtually anywhere, including deserts, polar regions, and urban areas. By using advanced technology such as automation and digitalization, indoor farming can achieve optimal crop growth in any location, providing a sustainable solution to food insecurity.
According to the latest data, indoor farming is experiencing significant market growth, with an annual increase of 25 percent. Experts estimate that the market potential for indoor farming solutions is approximately €3 billion euros, indicating a growing interest in sustainable agriculture. By utilizing blockchain technology and other innovative solutions, indoor farming can also ensure transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain, building trust among consumers and stakeholders.
Scaling Vertical Farming: How Siemens and 80 Acres Farms are Digitalizing Indoor Agriculture
Vertical farming has gained popularity in recent years as a sustainable way to produce food in urban areas with limited space. A recent project conducted by Siemens and 80 Acres Farms, a leading indoor farming company based in Ohio (USA), showcases the benefits of digitalized vertical farming. According to data from the project, indoor farming can produce 300 times more food per square meter than traditional arable farming methods, while using 95 percent less water.
Siemens is helping 80 Acres Farms scale their indoor farms by digitalizing their operations through the loop platform developed by its subsidiary, Infinite Acres. The project focuses on a holistic approach that includes power distribution equipment, energy and building management technologies, automation and digitalization solutions, and robotics and automation to optimize production. The platform allows for the monitoring of fire, security, and power distribution systems via a single interface. Edge devices and human-machine interfaces also monitor crop management and control the environmental conditions.
While indoor farming does consume significantly more energy than open-field agriculture, 80 Acres Farms uses 100 percent renewable energy to run their farms. The project is supported by equity financing from Siemens Financial Services (SFS), ensuring a sustainable approach to scaling indoor farming.
In conclusion, digitalized vertical farming offers a sustainable and efficient way to produce food. The Siemens and 80 Acres Farms project highlights the benefits of scaling indoor farming through a holistic approach that includes automation, digitalization, and renewable energy sources. As the demand for sustainable food production increases, indoor farming offers a promising solution to feed our growing population.