Terraforming Market
Healthy food

Sustainable development technologies for ensuring the food security of the city

Vertical trusses
The UN estimates that by 2050 the world population will reach 10 billion people, and the amount of available arable land will decrease to one third of what was available in 1970. Climate change will lead to more droughts and floods, which will only further hinder our ability to produce food to feed the billions of people living on Earth. Traditional farming practices are not as efficient and environmentally friendly as they should be: agriculture consumes 80 percent of fresh water and generates 24 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers leads to runoff that pollutes soil and water bodies.

Vertical farming can significantly increase food production while reducing the environmental impact of the agricultural sector by reducing the use of land, water, chemicals and fertilizers and increasing overall efficiency (for example, today up to 40% of fruits and vegetables are wasted before reaching the consumer - thanks to city farming, this percentage can be significantly reduced). While the environmental benefits are well known, the economic feasibility of vertical farming is still unclear.

For vertical farming to become a viable alternative for the masses, both capital and operating costs need to be reduced. In terms of capital investment, the main costs are structures, lighting and automation systems, while energy is the single most important operating cost parameter.
When choosing a solution for vertical farming, it is necessary to pay attention to the use of energy efficient tools, including the selection of the right spectrum for specific plants (a variety of scenarios for different crops), the features of solutions for automating most processes on the farm, including sowing and harvesting.
Benefits of smart farms
For the first time in human history, crop growers around the world do not have to worry about their level of knowledge: they can now grow anything, as sensors widely used in smart farms regularly collect weather, soil and plant data, compare them with harvesting scenarios and give specific advice to growers. Typically, modern farms can predict the biotechnological and abiotic stress of plants, its dynamically changing relationship with the microbes surrounding it, and the state of plant health. This has become possible thanks to advances in machine learning, computer vision and phytology, which are actively used by modern vertical farms.

Developers of smart farm solutions, along with the biological control of pesticides, microbes, etc., are often involved in other complex disease control strategies - in particular seed preparation to reduce the risk of plant diseases.

Key benefits of smart farms:
  • Accurate forecast. Data models allow better estimation of yields, which, among other things, reduces costs and waste at all stages of production.
  • Increased yields by tracking accurate nutrient levels, water levels, temperature and humidity. This increase in efficiency allows small greenhouses to vastly outperform field farms.
  • Faster growing cycles, for example, by reducing the "breeding" step.
    Greenhouses and vertical farms
    Greenhouses are able to provide impressive crop volumes on a regular basis. So much so that it is one of the main reasons why the Netherlands has burst into second place in the world in food exports.

    Governments around the world are recognizing the need to increase the area under greenhouses through various subsidies and incentives - farmers too are aware of the productivity gains associated with this form of cultivation. However, in many countries farmers refrain from investing in greenhouses because this usually involves stepwise implementation of solutions: for greenhouse cultivation to be successful, the selection of the right seeds and growing materials, climate control, nutrition control, pest prevention and control must be right. Although there are many solutions for each of these problems - it is still quite difficult, while vertical farms are a complex agronomic solution: it can be customized for specific tasks, a constantly learning and easy-to-implement solution combines technology, data science, agronomy , hydrology, etc. in the form of a simple daily to-do list for a farm owner. Vertical farms greatly simplify and automate (where possible) operations in the greenhouse. This leads to an increase in yield by an average of 25-40% per cycle, using much fewer resources than before.
    Crop growing scenarios
    Vertical farms provide optimal growing conditions through harvesting scenarios.

    1. Nutrition: The intelligent system proposes a plan for each field, thus optimizing the distribution of available nutrients according to specific conditions.

    2. Environment: the ideal habitat for the plant, specific to its variety. The vertical farm can measure and control more than 400 data - pH, EC, TDS, OD, humidity, water pressure, air pressure, wind direction and strength and other parameters to optimize crop growth.

    3. Interaction: Plants interact with each other and with the environment by dynamically adjusting ethylene, CO2, chlorophyll concentration, chlorophyll fluorescence and other parameters. Most of the parameters can be captured and evaluated by the AI of the vertical farm.

    4. Light. By adjusting PAR, PPFD and other parameters, the vertical farm allows crops to experience no visual stress.

    This accuracy in terms of input data also results in significantly less waste at each step of the process. This approach to precision farming not only uses less water, energy and emits less CO2, but also improves the quality of products.
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