Aeroponics, Vertical Cultivation and Indoor Plant Factories

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March 10, 2020
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Aeroponics, Vertical Cultivation and Indoor Plant Factories

Key Insight 

With extreme weather hampering traditional agriculture systems, new techniques are endeavoring to cultivate grains and produce that can be grown in spite of our changing climate. The availability of sensors, new kinds of irrigation, better lighting, and efficient ways to capture and process data is helping to modernize the agricultural sector—a transformation that will decentralize farming.

What You Need To Know

Decentralized food production is popular worldwide and could become a market of $700 billion over the next decade, according to a report by the Union Bank of Switzerland.

Why It Matters

Our existing global food system is a significant driver of climate change. The food system is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change. We’re facing long-term existential risk in the global food supply, but we’re also seeing tremendous new research and opportunity in AgTech.

Deeper Dive

Smarter Farms

The agriculture industry is abuzz over projections that by 2050, we must increase agriculture production by 70% to meet projected demand. Traditional farming methods won’t cut it. That shortfall has spawned a new generation of AgTech startups—nearly a dozen accelerators have popped up in the sector since 2013. Yet small farmers are slow to experiment with and adopt new technologies. If a technology doesn’t work, it can kill an entire harvest and a year’s income. The tech needs of a current farmer aren’t flashy yet. They want tech to digitize their field notes, and to use apps to track people and equipment, monitor valves and irrigation systems, store historical records of pest problems, spot irrigation leaks, and monitor water wells. 

The Impact

Overpopulation means the world must feed an estimated 9 billion people in 2050. If you’re a human who eats food, you should care deeply about the global food supply. With our global weather patterns and climates in flux, it’s plausible that the world’s agricultural centers today won’t be capable of sustaining commercial farms in the near future. Today’s agriculture system alone won’t work.


80 Acres, AeroFarms, Bowery Farming, Bright Farms, AGCO, BASF, Bayer AG, Chiba University, Claas, Del Monte, Detroit Dirt, DowDuPont, Fujitsu, GP Solutions, Grove Labs, Growing Underground, Iron Ox, Iwatani Agrigreen, Japan Plant Factory Association, Japanese Ministry of Economy, John Deere, Komatsu, MIT, Mitsubishi, Monsanto, National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Association (Japan), Plenty, Sungenta, Tomiyama Corporation.

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