- Vertical farming can be profitable with precise agronomy and technology.
- Flexibility in crop production is crucial due to the volatile supply and demand market.
- A vertical farm typically becomes profitable from three climate cells onwards.
- Artechno Growsystems emphasizes the importance of a “Symphony of efficiency” for success.
- Automation and AI are critical, but a skilled operator remains essential.
Is Vertical Farming a Viable Business?
In the horticultural industry, vertical farming has emerged as a promising method to control crop output more effectively. Art van Rijn, Founder and President of Artechno Growsystems, addresses the profitability of vertical farming, asserting that it is achievable when agronomy and technology are perfectly aligned.
The Symphony of Efficiency
Van Rijn likens successful automated vertical farming to a symphony where technology, agronomy, and product pricing harmonize to create a profitable business case. This balance is crucial for the crops to receive optimal conditions for growth, including water, oxygen, nutrients, appropriate temperature levels, humidity, airflow, and CO2.
Common Pitfalls in Vertical Farming
The absence of this “symphony” can lead to a failed business case, often due to poor system configuration or operational costs. Labor costs, in particular, can be a deal-breaker, highlighting the importance of wise automation and energy contracts.
The Role of Flexibility
The rapidly changing market demands a flexible system capable of adapting to different crops. Artechno Growsystems’ approach allows for growing various crops, which is essential for resilience in fluctuating supply and demand.
The Scale of Profitability
According to Artechno, an automated vertical farm becomes profitable with at least three climate cells. However, profitability depends on various factors, including crop type, location, product pricing, and energy costs.
The Customer Journey with Artechno Growsystems
Artechno Growsystems engages with customers only when a profitable business case is assured, offering a range of options from small-scale R&D to large automated vertical farms with processing equipment.
Research and Development: A Key to Success
The AVF+ Junior cell, a small-scale research center, is pivotal for developing and perfecting crop recipes, which can be scaled up to larger production facilities.
Scaling and the Future of Vertical Farming
While scaling is possible, it must be balanced with sensible automation. Certain crops, especially those requiring large cultivation areas, may not be suitable for vertical farming. Still, others prone to diseases in open fields can benefit significantly from this controlled environment.
Overcoming Market Skepticism
Despite the proven benefits, skepticism remains due to past failures and the industry’s novelty. Artechno Growsystems is committed to providing evidence and figures to build trust and demonstrate the profitability of vertical farming.
Read more here about the insights provided by Artechno.
Image provided by Artechno Growsystems