How will we grow food in the future?

How will we grow food in the future?

The world’s population is growing. The available farmland is diminishing. The urbanization is increasing, and with it the transportation distances and expenditures. The ability to provide enough food will become a challenge in the next 30 years. Traditional agriculture will not be able to provide the people in future cities with enough healthy nourishment. We are in need for new and better systems to meet the food supply demand.

Urban farming and indoor vertical farming are good examples of such solutions. We will grow tomatoes, melons, lettuce and the like in the midst of big cities. These plants will need to be fed primarily with water and light. Compared to conventional agricultural solutions, indoor farming achieves significant increases in energy efficiency and can, thus, help vegetable and fruit cultivation in the metropolises of the world to become viable.

Commercial horticulture by Fluence Bioengineering, Inc.

By acquiring Fluence Bioengineering, Inc. in 2018 we took an important step in our quest to become the leading provider of intelligent plant growth solutions. “Fluence is opening the floodgates to a huge future market,” said Stefan Kampmann, CTO of OSRAM Licht AG. “Its extensive knowledge of the horticulture market and possible applications, combined with OSRAM’s expertise in lighting technologies, sensors and connectivity, will position us as a leading horticultural solutions provider.”

LED-based solutions from Fluence help growers meet their yield and sustainability goals by increasing harvests up to 25 percent, reducing energy costs by as much as 50 percent and, through the targeted use of light, improving the quality and nutritional content of plants.

Main applications: Horticultural light and sensing solutions

People want fresh and nutritious vegetables, beautiful floral arrangements, and fragrant herbs all year round, possibly even at the touch of a button with the latest trends in e-commerce. Fortunately, the art and science of growing plants is evolving with new digital and smart technologies for vertical farms, hydroponic greenhouses, and small gardening systems, enabling the optimization of crop development and farms to sprout in big cities and even in people’s homes.

Ongoing light research, sensor technology, and cloud computing allow horticulture professionals to meet the increasing demands of today’s consumers, and provide everything from LED grow lights to complete solutions.

Study: The financial impact of vertical farming

The calculation of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the four scenarios was done together with KPMG using established monetization approaches.

The result is clear: Compared with open-field farming, vertical smart LED farms make the biggest positive contribution to society: A total of €322 million could be saved, if all citizens of New York City consumed lettuce produced in LED vertical farms. Annually!


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