With vertical farming making rapid strides, we see the emergence of the top vertical farming companies in India. Read on, as we elaborate on everything that you need to know about them.
India has a huge, growing population to feed. And, that’s a challenge more so in the lack of rapidly decreasing arable land and changing climate. Vertical farming can be the answer to India’s food security. Think of it as cutting-edge technology with the potential to revolutionize farming.
What is Vertical Farming?
For starters, vertical farming is an agriculture practice, wherein, food is grown in vertically stacked layers through hydroponic or aeroponic techniques. The cultivation doesn’t happen in soil but either in a nutrient-rich solution (Hydroponic) or a nutrient-rich mist (Aeroponics) sprinkled on roots. From light and temperature to humidity, CO2 and nutrition, the conditions are controlled for higher, faster, and superior yield. The cultivation happens indoors with weather intervention eliminated outright.
Vertical farming takes place in vertical, tower-like structures instead of open fields. That translates into space saving, making vertical farming ideal for urban centers where arable land is insufficient. A vertical farm resembles a warehouse with plants stacked in huge shelves, one over the other.
Why Vertical Farming is the Future of Agriculture?
Vertical farming is an advantage big enough to be hailed as the future of agriculture. Here’s why.
All-year food supply
With plants grown in a controlled environment, vertical farming pushes weather out of the equation. Traditional farming affords just two harvest seasons per year, while in vertical farming, they can be as many as 15. As such, a constant supply of high-quality foods all year round is ensured.
Traditional farming takes a heavy toll of space, water and other resources. On the contrary, vertical farming involves cultivation in tower-like structures, making the most of the space and water.
Lower Environmental Impact
Vertical farming is way more sustainable than horizontal farming. Here, the focus is on providing the right nutrition without using pesticides and other chemicals that might harm the planet and people.
Less transportation costs and hassles
The need to transport the produce over long distances is eliminated, as vertical farming supplies fresh produce to cater to the local demand. The transportation costs & hassles are, thus, restricted.
Higher and Superior Yield
Thanks to the controlled growing environment, the food produced in vertical farms has a longer shelf life (up to 15 days) and higher nutrition as compared to the produce grown conventionally.
Lower Occupational Hazards
Vertical farming reduces the occupational hazards that are otherwise central to horizontal farming.
Disadvantages of Vertical Farming:
Vertical farming comes with trade-offs. And, you should know them too.
- Cost has to be the biggest prohibitor when it comes to vertical farming. From a sophisticated growing platform to LED lights and electricity, the costs can be too high to deal with.
- Vertical farms using gasoline to power the growing system have a significant carbon footprint.
- As cultivation takes place in a closed environment, natural pollination is out of the equation.
- From technology to lighting and the environment, you have to deal with many moving parts.
- The communities relying solely on agriculture might be impacted severely.
The Bottom Line
Vertical farming can be a profitable venture if you can bear the upfront costs, take care of the moving parts, and, most importantly, choose the top vertical farming companies in India.
Top 10 Vertical Farming Companies in India
With the rapid rise in vertical farming, a large number of vertical farming companies have cropped up in India and across the world. Some of them are bigger, better equipped, and more innovative than the rest. Join us, as we take you through the leading vertical farming companies in India. We ranked them from 1 to 10 based on their products, quality, prices, and other major parameters.
AeroFarms is an undisputed leader in the vertical farming segment. The Certified B Corporation has come up with an innovative agriculture platform that supports an extensive variety of products with better flavor and higher nutrition. The platform utilizes 96% less water, no pesticides, and maintains a high level of traceability. The company uses proprietary aeroponics for a better yield.
Since 2004, AeroFarms has been using the best practices in horticulture, genetics, and data sciences to produce plants in more than 550 varieties. From tomatoes to berries and everything in between, you name it. The plants grow in all weather conditions and seasons, which make them existentially useful for a world facing a food crisis. The company prefers building vertical farms close to urban centers to ensure easy production and distribution throughout the year.
Undisputedly, AeroFarms could be one of the vertical farming companies to invest in.
- Since: 2004
- Status: Public traded
- Employees: 130+
- Founders: David Rosenberg, Marc Oshima, Edward Harwood
- Headquarters: New Jersey, USA
- Website: https://www.aerofarms.com/
2. Top Vertical Farming Companies in India: Bowery Farming
Based out of New York, Bowery Farming has been around since 2014. With a high-calibre proprietary platform, the company builds smart indoor farms. The idea is to provide the right environment for plants to grow all year round, no matter what the weather or season. No pesticides are used to ensure safer foods for health-conscious folks. Moreover, the company emphasizes developing non-GMO varieties with better quality, richer flavour, and way higher amounts of nutrition. The emphasis is also on adopting breakthrough vertical farming technology for better results.
Bowery Farming’s proprietary platform with stacked design delivers over 100 times higher production in the same space as compared to outdoor farms. The company uses eco star PET for packaging to keep the freshness and quality intact. Thus far, the company has attracted $472 million in funding. That makes it one of the top vertical farming companies in India with a $2.3 billion valuation. With funding flowing in, the company does not plan to go public anytime soon. Interestingly, the name, Bowery comes from the namesake neighborhood in New York.
- Since: 2014
- Founder: Irving Fain
- Employees: 251+
- Valuations: $2.3 billion
- Headquarters: New York
- Website: https://boweryfarming.com/
3. Bright Farm
Bright Farm continues to set standards in vertical farming. The New York-based company’s vertical farming business model is simple. It grows and supplies salad greens to Walmart and other retail giants across the US. The produce is fresh, lacks any GMO, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. The company uses integrated hydroponic greenhouses and innovative techniques to guarantee high-quality yield with 80 percent and 90 percent less water and land respectively.
Bright Farms has complete control over quality. That’s because the greens are grown, harvested and packed indoors. Since the plantation happens in water in controlled environments, the products arrive fresh and clean. You don’t even require rinsing it. Moreover, the diversity of greens is extensive, including sunny crunch, baby spinach, spring mix, baby arugula, basil, baby butter, and more. The company owns farms in Bucks County, Culpeper County, Wilmington, and Rochelle.
- Since: 2010
- Status: Private
- Founder: Ted Caplow and Paul Lightfoot
- Employees: 180
- Revenue: 15 Million USD
- Headquarters: Irvington, New York
- Website: https://www.brightfarms.com/
4. Top Vertical Farming Companies in India: Freight Farm
For Freight Farm, quality food isn’t a luxury. Rather, it’s a right. That’s why it ensures a consistent supply of local, healthy and fresh food internationally through a flourishing network of farmers. The company offers a comprehensive platform of products and services to ensure easy access to local produce. Freight Farm has set up 200 farms globally, from Canada to the Middle East. Also, the company offers integrated farming programs to create forward-looking farmers.
The company is credited with introducing the concept of “container farms.” Herein, the farming system is installed in a freight container to grow plants using nutrient solutions instead of soil. Perhaps, that speaks for the name, Freight Farm. Come 2018, Freight Farm came up with “Grown by Freight Farms.” It’s a farming service to help communities grow plants on-site without staffing their containers. “Farmhand” is its flagship software to automate hydroponic farm management. Freight Farm might plan to introduce a vertical farming business in India soon.
- Since: 2010
- Status: Private
- Founder: Brad McNamaraon and John Friedman
- Employees: 56
- Revenue: $57,000 yearly
- Headquarters: Boston, United States
- Website: https://www.freightfarms.com/
5. Top Vertical Farming Companies in India: Intelligent Growth Solutions
Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) is among India’s top vertical farming companies and the world with a 92-strong workforce and $18 Million annual revenue. Calling Edinburg (UK) as home, the company offers globally recognised, best-in-class solutions for vertical farmers. The company’s flagship communications platform, powered by IoT, allows vertical farms to increase their efficiency and reduce wastage. That makes the platform something of a revolution in indoor farming.
IGS Platform ensures the right environment for plants to grow and for farmers to flourish. The platform makes the most of multi-spectral lighting to provide the appropriate lighting for optimal plant growth. An inventive watering and rain harvesting system are also there to reduce water usage significantly. The system cut down labour by 80% and energy by 50% while upping the yield by 225% as opposed to similar indoor environments. With a passion for innovation, IGS is expected to grow phenomenally.
- Since: 2013
- Headquarters: Edinburg, UK
- Founders: Henry Aykroyd & Dave Scott
- Employees: 92+
- Revenue: $18 Million
- Website: www.intelligentgrowthsolutions.com/
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6. Top Vertical Farming Companies in India: Barton Breeze
Barton Breeze is redefining the farming experience with a blend of innovation and resource productivity. Based out of Gurugram, the company is committed to producing high-quality, nutritious, flavorful, and pesticide-free foods through sustainable means. To this end, it uses innovative models based on cutting-edge farming methods and industry best practices. Barton model can restrict water usage by 95% and fertilizer usage by 40% and speed up plant growth.
In fact, leafy greens can be grown in as few as 12 days. Barton provides farmers with full control over the growing process, allowing them to deliver traceable produce to their customers. The company’s data center gathers data from a flourishing network of data points to optimize farm settings for taste, hue, and nutrition. Thanks to the data, the company can alter moisture and temperature for a better yield. Also, the data allows for computing sales projections.
- Since: 2015
- Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana, India
- Founders: Dr Brahma Singh, Sanjay Sood, Dheeraj Joshi
- Employees: 25
- Revenue: $5 Million
- Website: https://www.bartonbreeze.com/
7. Urban Crop Solutions
Urban Crop Solutions is one of the leading sources available when it comes to automated vertical farming systems. The company offers container systems in three options, small size, mid-size, and large size to support every requirement.
Turnkey and automated, the system can be conveniently synchronised with the existing indoor farming facilities. UCS focuses on producing fresh and healthy leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens devoid of harmful pesticides and herbicides.
- Since: 2014
- Headquarters: Waregem, Belgium
- Founders: Frederic Bulcaen, Maarten Vandecruys
- Employees: 50
- Revenue: $7 million
- Website: www.urbancropsolutions.com
Sasaki is essentially a property development company with a vision for vertical farming. As one of the leading vertical farming companies in Asia, the company has been designing buildings that support indoor farming. “Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District” is its flagship project, built over 100 hectares in the heart of Shangai.
The project features world-class vertical farming systems to meet the growing demand for local products, including bok choi, kale, spinach and other leafy greens. The company has been around since 1953, offering architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, civil engineering, urban design, and space planning solutions.
Sasaki is a recipient of America’s planning association firm in 2012 and achieved a landscape architecture firm award in 2007. There are millions of subscribers in India. That places Sasaki among the top vertical farming companies in India and the world.
9. Badia farms
Badia Farms is bridging the gap between the farm and the dinner plate in the Middle East. The company has set up the region’s first vertical farm in Dubai, ensuring a steady supply of fresh, local microgreens and herbs. The farming is done through the hydroponic method. For the uninitiated, the hydroponic method uses nutrient solutions for growing plants instead of soil.
Badia Farms grow plants minus sunlight, pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Energy-efficient and environment friendly, the farming techniques reduce water usage by 80 per cent. Over the years, Bardia Farms has been generously investing in developing leading-edge technology to stay progressive. As a side note, the name Badia comes from an Arabic word for Oasis.
- Since: 2016
- Headquarters: Dubai, UAE
- Founder: Omar Al Jundi
- Employees: N/A
- Website: https://www.badiafarms.com/
10. Altius Farms
Altius Farms is committed to ensuring food security through state-of-the-art indoor farming solutions. Based out of Greater Denver Area (USA), the company keeps a steady supply of hyper-local, fresh veggies and fruits, all year round.
The focus is on sustainable production without relying on pesticides. The company prefers vertical aeroponic techniques, resulting in 10 folds yield with 90% less land and 95% less water. It achieves harvest once a month, which is commendable.
In six years of existence, awards and recognitions have come thick and fast for Altius Farms. It has earned the Colorado Impact Days Company award for two successive years, 2016 and 2017. That places it among the best vertical farming companies in the world.
- Since: 2015
- Headquarters: Greater Denver Area, Colorado, USA
- Founder: Sally Herbert
- Employees: 1 – 10
- Website: https://altiusfarms.com/
So, this was our list of vertical farming companies in India. These companies are diligently catering to the country’s food requirements through some leading-edge technologies. Hope you liked it. For more such quality content, watch the space.
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