The importance of agriculture in India can be testified by the fact that 58% of the Indian workforce relies on the agricultural activities to earn the bread and butter for their families. Nevertheless, feeding a population of nearly 1.3 billion is not an easy task, especially when the scientists claim that the earth has lost a third of its arable lands over the last 40 years.
In India, 58% percent of the arable land is left with the farmers, and this signifies that the future of Indian agriculture is about to face a threat. Looking at the ever increasing rate of growth in population, we must find the alternative.
In the pursuit of finding the solution, concepts such as vertical farming are like boon for the Indian agriculture scenario.
Vertical Farming - The Concept
Vertical farming helps fight the issue of decreasing percentage of the arable lands, which is one of the biggest challenges faced by agriculture all around the world. The concept of vertical farming scales up the prevalent concept of indoor farming to another level and comes along with some added benefits for modern-age farmers.
Vertical farming is the practice of growing crops in vertically stacked layers in a controlled environment, where a natural environment is modified to increase the crop yield.
The environment modification generally covers four aspects of the farming, which are:
(a) Physical Layout
(c) Growing Medium and
(d) Sustainability Feature.
In the physical layout, the plants are vertically stacked in a tower-like structure. This way, we can minimize the area required to grow plants. Another aspect that amends the natural setting is the use of artificial lights. A combination of natural lights and artificial lights is required to maintain a perfect environment for an efficient growth of the plants.
The third aspect is the growing medium for the plants. Instead of soil, aeroponic, hydroponic or aquaponic growing mediums are used as the growing medium. The fourth aspect that makes vertical farming way more beneficial is the sustainability factor that it offers. Vertical farming is sustainable as it requires 95% less water as compared to other farming methods.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
Vertical Farming is a different approach towards agriculture. There are several advantages of vertical farming, which makes it promising for the future of agriculture.
- One of the biggest advantages of vertical farming is that it allows farmers to grow plants in the indoor setting. Many farmers don’t have arable lands, so for them vertical farming is a solution.
Another advantage of vertical farming is that it allows farmers to grow more plants in lesser area. As vertical farming lets us to grow plants in a tower-like structure, cultivation of crops in an area of 1 acre could make it up to 4-5 acres, this way you can plant more crops than in any other farm.
- Vertical farming requires lesser water resources, this way it helps farmers in avoiding crop failure due to insufficient rain.
- Vertical farming is not affected by weather conditions because crops are grown in controlled environment. In a controlled environment, the suitable conditions are artificially created so that the plants can grow better, so there’s no chance of unfavorable conditions ruining the crops.
Vertical farming uses various modern-age techniques for farming, which makes it different from the traditional farming practices. As it involves technology, it has the potential to revolutionize the future of agriculture. Even though the financial aspect of this modern-age farming technique is yet a challenge for farmers, its potential can urge the government to help equip the farmers to reap benefits of this technique.