The vertical farming industry will become a turnkey solution leading to enabling NASA and other space programs to realize their future food production systems in zero gravity environments. Vertical farming has inspired advances in lighting technologies, climate control, data analytics, automation and other innovations, and has correspondingly been setting new achievements in both yield and resource sustainability. It is GreenState’s hope and desire that vertical farming can become more efficient while also remaining a sustainable business.
The Company’s world-renowned science team is developing proprietary technology to improve labor efficiency and reduce the energy costs associated with traditional vertical farms. GreenState future design plans for commercial vertical farming promises to offer a number of environmental benefits. Growing in highly controlled cleanrooms eliminates the need for herbicides and pesticides, uses 95% less water and returns thousands of acres of farmland to nature.
A second set of innovations uses artificial intelligence to monitor plant health and progress multiple times per minute. Computers analyze videos and images to dynamically control exactly how much lighting and cooling plants receive at any given point in their life cycle. This reduces wasted resources.
The first phase of the full-scale commercial vertical farm will include building and operating a retail store for fresh produce grown onsite for the surrounding community, and an AgTech learning center for families and school groups. Dr. Moshe Bar leads GreenState R&D team to provide essential technology and solutions for reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting greens. Dr. Bar is convinced, naturally, that by developing vertical farms inside the regions where the produce will be consumed, ensures consumption at its freshest. It also eliminates the financial costs and negative environmental impact of trucking produce long distances. In 2008, researchers with Carnegie Mellon University estimated that food transportation may account for 50% of total carbon emissions generated by the processing of many fruits and vegetables. According to a 2019 report from Statista, crop yields from indoor farms can be more than 10 times greater than outdoor farms. Because of that, indoor farming is expected to see strong global growth. The market for food products grown indoors could be worth up to $6.4 billion by 2023, according to Statista.
Understanding the interaction between the circadian clock of suitable crops and these artificial growing environments will be a valuable step to boosting productivity, while reducing costs, and the science and nature collaboration is evidence of how scientists can work with industry to enhance existing technologies in order to improve the sustainability of future agriculture. And just as the space program initiated the vertical farming industry, there is poetic symmetry in the very real prospects that it will be the vertical farming industry that will ultimately enable NASA.