Another highly successful vertical farming startup is propelling the future of farming skyward, literally and figuratively.
From an agricultural tech startup called A lot, a two-acre indoor vertical farm produces yields that would normally require a 720-acre ‘flat farm’, and can be done with 95% less water.
Saving water is critical in an agricultural state like arid California, where Plenty will supply fresh produce to 430 Albertsons grocery stores.
The vision is truly a Star Trek one, with the abundant use of robotics and artificial intelligence to ensure perfect plants all year round.
The reasons for supporting indoor vertical farming are varied, from climate-related benefits to eliminating cumbersome logistical challenges like long-distance transportation.
The company’s website says the technology “frees” agriculture “from the” constraints “of” climate, seasons, time, distance, pests, natural disasters and natural disasters, “and flavors them. “
Perhaps that is why Driscoll’s, the largest producers of fresh berries in the United States, They have agreed to grow your strawberries year-round in Plenty’s expanding portfolio of vertical farms.
And investors are seeing the potential to seed their own portfolios with Plenty.
The company’s method of growing vegetables, such as kale and lettuce, on giant vertical racks powered by robotics recently garnered $ 400 million in investment capital from the likes SoftBank, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Time to grow
The reductions in transport chains would remove millions of tons of CO2 each year, since instead of importing products to city centers from farms across the country or the world, you could order them from a warehouse on the outskirts of the city.
Additionally, Plenty farms grow non-GMO crops without the use of pesticides or herbicides and recycle every drop of water that is not used, making them extremely environmentally friendly except for energy use.
A spokesperson told GNN that they were using 100% renewable energy for their flagship farm in San Francisco, to keep emissions low.
Bathed in LED lights that mimic the sun in climate-controlled spaces year-round, the farm ensures vegetables grow at a staggering rate, producing 350 times more food per acre.
Supply chain failures resulting from COVID-19 and natural disruptions like this year’s wildfires in California demonstrate that the need for a predictable and long-lasting supply of produce can only come from vertical farming, says Nate Storey, co-founder by Plenty.
This will be even more important if the continued warming of the planet leads to droughts or other climate-related disturbances that farmers and biologists cannot overcome trying to make crops more resistant to climate and drought.
In addition, vegetables and fruits contain many more micronutrients than cereals, but they also spoil quickly and are therefore more expensive. Nations and inner cities that have to import all fresh produce place the poorest in society at an extreme nutritional disadvantage. Vertical farming could be the way to solve that problem permanently.
Not only that, Plenty told GNN that they have introduced new packaging that is not only made from recycled plastic, it is 100% recyclable and keeps food fresh longer to reduce food waste.
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