The indoor farming revolution

ID-100257129Indoor, vertical, hydroponic, urban. Whatever you want to call them, these high-tech farms are popping up all over the world from office buildings in Japan to research laboratories in the Netherlands to O’Hare International airport in Chicago, and even your own home. Here we talk about what they are, how they can revolutionise the food industry and what the major drawbacks are.

Introducing indoor farming

Access to arable land and fresh water is declining, traditional commercial farming methods are environmentally unsustainable and climate change is becoming less of a threat and more of a reality. In the face of these challenges we must produce enough food to feed a growing population, many of whom are chronically hungry. Some believe the answer lies in a radical transformation of our food production systems, namely indoor farming, a method that can reduce the inefficiency and waste (e.g. of water or of crops) associated with modern farming practices.

Indoor farming is happening across the globe, although predominantly in developed countries. The world’s largest indoor farm at 25,000 square feet is located in the old SONY factory located in eastern Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture. Some 380 enclosed farms growing fruit and vegetables are operating in Japan, including some run by electronics companies Fujitsu, Toshiba and Panasonic. But what is indoor farming? [Read more…]