Technology constantly evolves and impacts every aspect of our lives, including agriculture. Innovations in agricultural technology have helped reduce the cost of manual labour and the quality and quantity of production output.
The revolutionary growing method, known as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), is being combined with more traditional farming methods in ways that will help to revolutionise the future of farming in many ways.
What is Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)?
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) has been defined as a term that “encompasses a variety of systems that take a technology-based approach to farming.”
“CEA systems are designed to provide optimal growing conditions for crops and prevent disease and pest damage. “
CEA is also known as indoor or vertical farming, as the facilities used to grow crops are sealed off from the outside environment. Everything the plant needs to grow is therefore provided artificially.
CEA means that plants can be grown in a mini eco-system tuned to be the perfect growing conditions, safe from bacteria, pests and extreme weather. Being able to remove a lot of the problems associated with traditional farming means farmers will be able to access tremendous cost savings, as well as increase their potential output.
CEA is also a much more sustainable way to farm as well. With CEA, there is less need for heavy farming machinery, pesticides, and less water will also be needed.
One of the significant benefits of CEA is the reduction in the amount of land needed to be used, with research showing that 1 acre of an indoor area offers equivalent production to at least 4-6 acres of outdoor capacity. Estimates show that a 30-story building with a base area of 5 acres can potentially produce an equivalent of 2,400 acres of conventional horizontal farming.
Crop yields are also higher when CEA is used, as the is a massive reduction in the effects of seasonality.
What are the advantages of CEA?
To sum up what the advantages of CEA are for farmers:
- Consistent and reliable crop yields
- Less destruction of habitat
- Maximisation of profit
- More flexibility of land use, including in urban locations
- More sustainable land use
- Potential to automate more tasks to increase efficiency
- Protection for crops from harsh conditions and animals
- Reduction in the number of crops lost to pests
- Significant water savings
The future of farming
The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, and the predictions are that we will need to increase current food production by 70% and use an extra 20% of land to feed everyone.
Using CEA can help farmers take a more sustainable approach to food growth by reducing land and water usage. It also allows products to be grown locally, reducing time-to-market – reducing the reliance on an extensive supply chain, and enabling consumers to trace their food source.
To learn more about CEA and how our Gelponics products fit into this, get in touch at either 07867 502247 or email@example.com