The phrase “vertical farming” probably doesn’t need to be explained even though it’s quite new. But anyway, vertical farming refers to the practice of producing fruits and vegetables vertically, in stacked layers, perhaps on many floors inside a building, using artificial lights instead of the sun, and a whole range of relatively new technologies.
There are two main reasons why this type of farming – which is also known as indoor or urban farming – is a much-discussed topic now:
- there are a number of startup companies emerging in the sector and attracting tens of millions of dollars in investment; and
- more people live in cities than do in rural areas, a global trend which seems irreversible, and this means that the demand for fresh produce will increase in urban areas, and bringing the production closer to the consumer would make sense.
The third thing we could have added is that there is the range of new technologies available now that make vertical farming in urban areas cost-effective and possibly profitable. But we already mentioned that.