Growing plants indoors isn’t a new concept. Indeed, the first examples of commercial greenhouses date back to as early as the 1800s in Leiden, Holland, where they were used to grow medicinal tropical plants. There are even records as far back as the Roman Empire which talk of ‘beds mounted on wheels which they moved out into the sun and then on wintry days withdrew under the cover of frames, glazed with transparent stone or mica’.
Greenhouse technology offers huge opportunities to produce crops faster and more efficiently than traditional growing methods, free from the constraints of climate or weather. However, in a world where space is increasingly at a premium, particularly in urban areas, a new wave of agricultural innovation is beginning to emerge. New technologies such as vertical farming work in tandem with more traditional production methods to ensure a stable food supply chain for an ever-growing global population.
From two Growth Towers to more than 200, Scottish-based company IGS’ vertical farming system is one of the world’s first sustainable, modular, scalable and bio-secure indoor plant-based farming platforms, which can be built quickly and efficiently in urban and rural environments. Its modular construction means that it is readily scalable to fit sites of all sizes, optimising the use of space and requiring no arable land.
Controlled using cloud-based software, the plug-and-play platform offers a secure, controlled, indoor environment, independent of weather and location to provide a sustainable and secure food supply across a range of crops. Using proven project methodology, it has been designed to maximise productivity while minimising energy consumption.
As the world begins to recalibrate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, simple, flexible solutions to some of the key challenges raised by the virus look set to take centre stage. In recent months, our global reliance on complex supply chains has been dramatically impacted. This applies across all areas of life, but most crucially to sustaining life and it has particularly affected food supply chains.
As the full impact of this begins to be digested across the globe, we all need to look to a future that creates independence in each country’s supply chain and delivers sustainable food security. This is a long-term requirement which demands focus and investment now.
It is vital that this global moment of change isn’t allowed to pass by. We need solutions to establishing global food security which are infinitely scalable and can be tailored to a huge range of climates and environments. Now is the time to drive change, embrace innovation and secure a more sustainable future for food production.
For more information about IGS’s vertical farming technology, please visit www.intelligentgrowthsolutions.com.