Labor expenses will be tackled by automation. Many startups and some capital-backed growers are developing technologies to help vertical farms reduce their dependence on human labor, with remarkable achievements. A noteworthy example is IGS (Intelligent Growth Solutions), which has developed an automated system that enables highly efficient production using modular structures. The company claims to have reduced labor by up to 80% and power by up to 50%. Its plan is to sell its technology to companies that want to improve the efficiency of their vertical farms' operations.
You'll be seeing more and more high tech farms popping up in cities. As the population grows, and we run out of farming land, along with climate change, the future of farming is to bring them into our cities. Across the world people and companies are investing in creating new ways and technology to provide a more sustainable future. Big name investors include Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even the former McDonalds CEO Don Thompson. Companies highlighted in this video: AeroFarms, Growing Underground, Square Roots (who have Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon Musk, as a co-founder), the Open Agriculture Initiative, Persona Group, Farm One, Bowery, Plenty, Impossible Foods, and Beyond Meat.
The herbs in your future online supermarket delivery may be grown not in a field in a distant country, but in a shed on the outskirts of a nearby city. This week, UK online supermarket Ocado spent £17 million on vertical farming, an industry that advocates say can produce food in a more environmentally friendly way. But will the investment really allow Ocado to deliver greener food? Ocado has taken a majority stake in Jones Food, which runs Europe's biggest vertical farm on an industrial estate …
Counne has developed a roving camera that travels from level to level by itself, which cuts down on the need for multiple cameras, as well an automated lift system that collects trays of ready plants and brings them to an assembly line of workers, who are able to harvest in a fraction of the time it takes where workers must travel to the plants. The empty trays, traveling on a conveyer belt, continue through an automated sanitation tunnel before an another robot transplants new plugs and another lift transfers the newly planted tray to the nursery.
For growing food, the sun is yesterday's technology. Such are the promises of vertical farms--indoor towers stacked high with crops. Waterborne nutrients feed the plants, and led lights drive their photosynthesis. The idea emerged back in 2000, when Columbia University microbiologist Dickson Despommier wondered why Manhattan's abandoned buildings couldn't be used to grow food as efficiently as they once housed people. Free from the primitive sway of sunlight and dirt, "vertical farming can allow former cropland to go back to nature and reverse the plundering of the earth," Ian Frazier wrote in a 2017 New Yorker article about Despommier.