Vertical Farming Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)
The global vertical farming market is projected to register a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period (2020-2025). The increased demand for organic products among the consumers fueled by the improved standard of living and higher disposable income has paved way for the development of vertical farming, wherein organic farming is practiced widely.
North America is projected to be the largest and fastest-growing market. Vertical farming is an environment-friendly and profitable technology. It has been promoted by the various governments and non-governmental organizations for its benefits in terms of food security. The need for food supply against the explosive population increase by 2050 has catalyzed the growth of the vertical farming market. Fund flows towards the market for bringing development and technological advancement in this specific sector.
Key Market Trends
Rapid Pace of Development of Precision Farming Technologies
The introduction of harvesting robots, automatic seed planters, and greenhouse roof washers have been instrumental in reducing operating costs and increasing revenues, in the vertical farming market. The automating movement of the plants is gaining popularity. It includes unit tasks of transplanting, seeding, packaging, harvesting, and cleaning, which, in turn, boosts the vertical farming market.
The use of hydroponics allows the long-term cultivation of a wide range of crops, grown in vertical farming. Recent developments in the field of hydroponics, to cater to casual indoor growers, simplifying technology, and economics are increasing this segment's growth in the global vertical farming market. The development of customized lighting systems for research testing, comprising top-lighting, inter-lighting, and tissue culture, is accelerating the growth of the global market segment of the lighting devices. These plants are grown in stacks of hydroponic trays, under pink LED lights. The LED lightings’ reduced heat output and energy use have made this technology feasible. In April 2019, companies, such as Samsung, launched a wide range of horticultural LEDs, that produce a broad spectrum of light to support healthy plant growth.
North America Dominates the Market
The US market dominated the North American region. Growing concerns toward food security and nutrition are expected to open a number of novel opportunities for the industry to prosper. The United States is anticipated to invest a significant share in facilitating the ecosystem for future foods. As more of the consumer insights develop toward “fresh-from-farm-to-table”, the availability of freshly harvested vegetables across retail outlets is expected to increase in the country (which is also the pioneer in adopting this concept). The onset of urban population dwelling across cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee, has propelled the environment for vertical farming with activities, such as revamping derailed vacant warehouses, derelict buildings, and high rises, which has, in turn, led to an increase in the production of fresh grown foods altogether.
Over the past few years, the vertical farming concept has laid its hands across the booming cannabis market, where companies are including alternative options to garner more revenues. Major players in the Canadian vertical farm industry are Canada’s Modular Farms, based in Toronto, and Nova Scotia’s TruLeaf, leading the trail followed by startups, such as Ecobain Gardens, that grew from a 1300 sq. ft. in 2013 to 6000 sq. ft. in 2018, by engaging the fresh herb mix concept.
The market is highly fragmented, with major revenue-generating companies which are Infarm, Aerofarms, Signify Holdings (Phillips), Illumitex, Inc., Everlight Electronics Co, Ltd., Vertical Farm Systems, Green Sense Farms LLC, Agrilution, and Urban Crops Solutions, among others, cornering just some part of the market share, while the rest of the market is shared among numerous players.
Many commercial growers are adopting technologies that involve high capital expenditure, such as advanced hydroponic systems and electronic traceability systems. Additionally, growers are heavily investing in LEDs and other innovative lighting products, in order to reduce their exposure to associated risks by carefully monitoring and investing in new technologies. Partnerships and collaborations will enable growers to provide year-round supplies, thereby strengthening their position in the market. The new players that are entering the indoor vertical farming market can fetch profits by choosing the most profitable crops and by using the correct facility systems.
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