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The Global Problem


By 2050 our planet needs to produce 70% more food so we need to ask how we are going to feed the next billion people in a sustainable way. Today the global built environment produces 40% of current GHG emissions and has an urban footprint of 30%. How will we feed nine billion people on a planet with changing water resources and increasing energy costs while improving the environment?

Our solution involves the construction of urban food production centers - vertical farms - in which our food is continuously grown inside of tall buildings within the built environment. If we engineer this approach to local food production, then no crops would ever fail due to severe weather events. Fresher produce would be available without the need to transport it thousands of kilometers.

Food waste would be greatly reduced since crops would be sold and consumed within moments after harvesting. A long-term benefit would be the gradual repair of many of the worlds damaged ecosystems, the regrowth of hardwood forests could play a significant role in carbon sequestration and may help reverse current trends in global climate change. Other benefits of vertical farming include the creation of a sustainable urban environment that encourages good health and new employment opportunities.
We believe the future is Vertical Farming in cities with networked fresh food production through a commercially viable model based on highly controlled technology solutions. Growing crops all year around with Controlled Environment Agriculture localises food production and increases resilience against extreme climate events. Food supply chains are under more scrutiny than ever in the era of coronavirus. The vertical farming movement offers solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing agriculture today.
As our population has grown traditional agriculture has begun facing some big challenges.
1. Farmland takes up a lot of space and destroys biodiversity. Our World in Data reports that half of all habitable land is used for agriculture. As Nate Storey of Plenty, Inc.a vertical farming startup It is probably one of the most defining acts of humanity We literally changed the ecosystem of the entire planet to meet our dietary needs.
 2. The demand for farmland both for produce and livestock has led to a dangerous deforestation in several parts of the world. This also results in biodiversity loss and contributes to an increase in the greenhouse gases that drive climate change.
3. Degradation of farmland such as through soil erosion poses a threat to agricultural productivity.
4. Agriculture consumes copious amounts of water, which exacerbates water shortages. (Obviously, water shortages also reduce agricultural productivity.)
5. Fertilizer run-off causes substantial environmental damage, such as algal blooms and fish kills. Pesticides can degrade the environment by affecting non-target organisms.
6. The effects of climate change are already making agriculture more challenging due to significant shifts in weather, changes to growing seasons, and realignment of water supplies.
Our climate is continuing to change in unexpected ways, and the only predictable aspect of what lies ahead is unpredictability. Vertical farming proponents expect that a re-think of how we grow food can ultimately solve these problems.
The benefits also lie in the vertical farming method. Produce is grown indoors under LED lights, with a plants roots typically suspended in nutrient-rich water or mist. Temperature, humidity and light is carefully regulated within the sealed environment, and more plants can be packed into a space, on multi tier racks. Modern agricultural production is built on a supply chain that is vulnerable to ecological and supply shocks. The global pandemic highlighted this.
While yield per square metre, low water consumption and lack of soil or pesticides have long been touted as the vertical farms main selling points, another one is becoming increasingly important: a guaranteed, year-round supply situated right where it is needed.