Controlled Environment Agriculture Indoor Farming

Navigating the Intersection of Food Security and Geopolitical Tensions: China’s Investment in Indoor Farming

China's odd relation with indoor farming

China is a country with a rapidly growing population that is projected to reach 1.5 billion by 2030. However, this growth brings significant challenges in feeding the country’s population, such as diminishing arable land, urbanization, and the effects of climate change. Extreme heatwaves and droughts have recently raised concerns about this year’s harvest. The government has invested heavily in new technologies, such as indoor farming and agtech, to help overcome these challenges.

Several companies, including SANANBIO, Pinduoduo, Bright Food, and Tencent, have invested in or participated in funding rounds for agtech companies, recognizing the potential for these technologies to help address the challenges facing China’s food security. However, the current tensions between China and the US and US’s efforts to decrease its reliance on Chinese technology may affect the Future of agtech and indoor farming in China.


The Biden administration has recently enacted a bill committing $280 billion to develop high-tech manufacturing and scientific research, with the CHIPS act aimed at promoting the development of the semiconductor industry in the US. China’s President Xi Jinping has also called for the country to step up the development of technology critical to national security.

China has the world’s most prominent greenhouse cultivation area and is projected to reach a market size of $5,089.726 million by 2024. Companies such as Farm66 received funding from the Chinese government and other investors. The Dutch-Israeli company Future Crops had also announced a funding round led by Tencent before it recently announced its bankruptcy. In addition, WI Harper Group has backed YesHealth Group in a Series A funding round.

In 2018, Plenty was expected to expand in China after Softbank participated in their record-breaking $200M series B as reported by Reuters

SANANBIO is a leading company in the vertical farming industry, providing hardware, solutions, and ongoing technical support to farmers and companies. The company operates research facilities in several countries and services over 50 indoor agricultural facilities globally. With the continued growth of the indoor farming industry and investment from both the government and private sector, China is taking a significant portion of the industry which, in the current times of tension, could be dangerous for the industry’s growth.

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Photo by Ling Tang on Unsplash 

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