A two acre indoor vertical farm produces yields that would normally require a 720 acre ‘flat farm', and it can be done with 95 percent less water, and results in much more nutritionally rich fruit and vegetables.
Plenty, a California ag-tech company uses robotics and artificial intelligence to ensure perfect plants year round at it's highly controlled vertical farms. Bathed in sun-mimicking LED lights in climate-controlled spaces year round, the farm grows fruit and vegetables at an astonishing rate - producing 350 times more food per acre than traditional 'flat' farms.
The company’s website says the technology “frees agriculture from the constraints of weather, seasons, time, distance, pests, natural disasters, and climate” that makes GMO-free nutrient-rich plants at scale. And this magic combination is attracting investment from the likes of Softbank and Jeff Bezos.
Similar to rooftop farms in Paris and underground farms in London, Plenty's vertical farms have the huge advantage of reducing transport chains (thereby eliminating huge amounts of CO2 emissions) as instead of importing produce into city centres from farms across the country or the world, customers could order it from a warehouse on the edge of town.
Crops grown in Plenty’s farms never use pesticides or herbicides, and recycle every drop of water that’s not used, making them extremely friendly to the environment - except for their power usage - so it's using 100 percent renewable energy for its flagship farm in San Francisco in order to minimise emissions.
Vertical farming, similar to Plenty's system, are likely to become increasingly important if the planet continues to warm up and causes more droughts or other climate-related disruptions, as traditional farming will struggle to make crops more climate and drought-resistant.