It’s predicted that by 2050, 70% of world population will live in urban areas, and the growing number means increasing demand for food. Conventional, traditional methods of farming won’t be effective to meet the demand, and so the new type of farming will play a significant role to to prepare that kind of problem.
It provides the opportunity to produce even indoors without the need for soil under controlled growing conditions such as light, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide concentration and culture solution.
It provides 365 days of production independent of the season, without being affected by water shortage in the dry season, heavy rain in the rainy season or similar extreme weather conditions.
365 days of uninterrupted productivity
Urban agriculture is a very popular concept in recent years. Plant factories provide favorable conditions for local food production in crowded and costly urban areas around the world to facilitate rapid delivery of fresh produce. Plants can be grown in clumps or multi-levels instead of in a row to maximize space use. This way more plants are produced and this technique is much more sustainable and cost effective.
Plants are grown hydroponically where the roots are immersed in a nutrient solution. Thus, there is no water loss. It allows the plant to take up its nutrients with very little effort, unlike soil where the roots have to seek and extract nutrients. This is true even when using rich, organic soil and premium nutrients. The energy expended by the roots in this process is the energy better spent on vegetative growth. This is why hydroponic plants grow much faster than growing in soil. Therefore, in plant factories, harvesting is done much more often than in conventional agriculture. Another benefit of growing hydroponic plants is that compared to soil, plants are not affected by excessive heavy metals.
Short harvest time
Most vegetables grown outdoors using conventional agriculture are sprayed with pesticides. Plant factories do not use any pesticides, neither organic nor chemical, because the plants are grown in a closed environment where no insects can enter. Strict rules are often applied to those entering plant factories where special clothing is required to prevent insects and pollutants from damaging plants. Thus, plants live in a safe environment without worrying about pest attack.
Since the conditions required by the plant are created under computer control in plant factories, harvest times are shortened and plant quality increases.
Harmful pathogens have no effect on food produced naturally and without pesticides due to hygiene and technique used in plant factories. Therefore, products produced in plant factories have a much longer shelf life than traditional agricultural products.