Vertical Farming: The Most Promising Agricultural Trend in 2024

With the arrival of 2024, vertical farming is experiencing a flourishing opportunity for development. From supply chain stability to environmental sustainability and food safety, the vertical farming industry exhibits significant investment potential. According to the latest research reports in North America and global trend analyses, 2024 is poised to be a favorable year for the growth of vertical farming, with recent studies indicating substantial opportunities for investors in vertical farming enterprises.

Supply Chain Security and Sustainability

In recent years, various global industries have faced significant disruptions in their supply chains due to external factors, leading to price hikes, including those in the food sector. Simultaneously, extreme weather conditions and global warming have caused crop reductions, driving up agricultural product prices. Vertical farming, through its provision of a sustainable supply chain for fresh produce, offers a novel solution to enhance global food supply chain security. The enclosed production environment and irrigation systems in vertical farming enhance adaptability to climate fluctuations, mitigating the impact of natural disasters and climate change.

Meanwhile, as global attention on environmental sustainability continues to rise, consumers are adopting more eco-friendly dietary habits. According to a survey by IFIC, 46% of respondents consider it important that food is produced using agricultural technologies that reduce natural resource consumption and environmental damage. Vertical farming, with a 90% reduction in water usage compared to traditional agriculture, is evidently more appealing to consumers.

In contrast to traditional agriculture, the development of vertical farming not only reduces potential risks arising from environmental uncertainties but also proves more environmentally friendly to natural resources. Consequently, it has become an effective agricultural solution to enhance the security and sustainability of agricultural supply chains, attracting significant investments from major institutions and investors. Silicon Valley startup Plenty, renowned in the field of vertical farming, received a $200 million investment from Masayoshi Son upon their first meeting, sparking an instant wave of investment enthusiasm in vertical farming.

Food Safety

According to statistics from research institution IFIC, nearly 50% of Americans currently consider foodborne diseases as the most significant food safety issue. This is not surprising, considering the multiple recalls of leafy greens and lettuce products in 2022 and 2023 due to potential contamination by Salmonella and other foodborne disease risks. The report also reveals that about 42% of respondents believe pesticides pose a significant threat to food safety.

Vertical farming, with its relatively enclosed hygienic cultivation environment, controlled water resources, and nutrient sources, significantly reduces the risk of food contamination and eliminates the need for pesticides, further enhancing the food safety of vertical farming products. In the current market environment where consumer awareness of food safety is increasing, these natural advantages provide entrepreneurs and investors with opportunities to create new agricultural product brands trusted by the market.

According to a report by ADM, consumers are increasingly seeking transparency and traceability in their food. What is it? Where is it produced? What raw materials are used? The more comprehensive the production information a company can provide, the more likely it is to gain consumer trust.

Vertical farming, with its controlled indoor vertical production methods, makes transparency and traceability in agricultural product production possible, providing investors with a pathway to ensure product quality and reduce investment risks. Canadian vertical farming company Pinnacle Food, for example, has successfully utilized big data technology by establishing an independent data center to monitor the entire growth process of fruits and vegetables in real-time. Through data analysis, they achieve intelligent management, not only ensuring precise control over the production process but also allowing consumers to trace the entire process and accurately understand the composition of the purchased product (ensuring it is free from pesticides and other chemicals). This commitment to data technology has enabled Pinnacle Food to secure multiple rounds of funding, with plans to go public on the U.S. stock market next year.

Source: China Daily Science

Post time: Jan-02-2024