How often do you think about the global population? There are more than 7 billion people living on our planet, and that number will continue to climb. The earth could hold more than 8 to 11 billion people in less than 30 years, by 2050.

If you’re a farmer or interested in farming, you’re probably aware of the growing need to produce our world’s food. With the demand for food only increasing, we need new ways to produce more, in a more efficient manner, while also protecting our planet.

Most farmers realize that while enough food is produced to feed everyone on the planet, the issue is one of distribution and access. Many people can’t afford to purchase food or may not have access to land to grow the food they need. It’s clear that food production must increase to keep up with the demand, and at a higher rate than might be expected. The amount of food produced isn’t the same as the amount of food that reaches people. Some crops fail. Some crops may be lost in the field. Some could spoil while being transported.

Fortunately, there are myriad measures farmers can implement to help increase their yields in a sustainable way. That’s where vertical farming comes into play.

Vertical farming, sometimes called indoor or urban farming, refers to producing food in an indoor environment – using layers of plants to maximize space while controlling factors such as humidity, light, water, temperature and nutrients, Indoor vertical farming stacks can produce higher yields while using less water and soil, compared to traditional agriculture.

Vertical Farming has a myriad of advantages over more traditional ways of growing food. Vertical farming uses 95% less water, it emits less CO2 emissions by reducing the number of “food miles” in its process, and it can greatly reduce labor costs by using conveyors and robotics. This industry was worth $1.5 billion back in 2016; that number is estimated to grow to $6.4 billion in less than two years (by 2023). For ways to optimize your vertical farming system, continue reading the infographic below.

Created by Ultimation Industries