Agriculture and farming are two important contributors to the success of any country’s economy. The food that we eat today, either at home or in the restaurant is an outcome of farming. In order to improve the productivity of crops, it is important to embrace the latest in farming, such as vertical farming. Artificial intelligence (AI) is one such technology.
AI is a powerful technology in which intelligent machines and appliances are capable of performing tasks just as we humans do. Being more specific, AI powered machines take decisions just like we humans do. The application of AI in agriculture will bring about a complete revolution in the way crops are cultivated. AI has already created an impact in diverse industry verticals such as healthcare, medicine, and lifestyle. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide spending on AI is likely to touch 58 billion USD by the end of this year. The use of agricultural practices based on AI tools is gradually increasing across the globe, especially in America and Asia.
Before diving deep into the benefits of AI in vertical farming, let us see what vertical farming really means.
What does vertical farming mean?
Vertical farming refers to production of crops in a vertically stacked manner. Vertical farming systems can be set up indoors in a controlled environment. Vertical farming allows people to grow vegetables and fruits anywhere across the world.
How is AI farming done?
- AI powered vertical farming is performed in closed spaces like greenhouses.
- AI powered farming and gardening machines are equipped with various types of sensors (light, temperature, humidity, water, air). Also, nutrient and oxygen enrichment systems are present.
- The vertical farming system consists of interlinked double walled cubes.
- No sunlight is required in these cubes as LED lights act as a source of heat and light.
- Both conditions of light and temperature can be efficiently controlled.
- A micro computer is also attached to each cube so that the cultivation and conditions can be efficiently monitored and controlled.
- In vertical farming, the technology of aeroponics is used. This means soil-less cultivation of crops. The roots of plants hang out in the air and they are sprayed with water which is rich in nutrients.
- Micro-nutrients and minerals present in water contribute to the fertility of plants.
- The use of AI in farming can help in the production of vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, etc.
Benefits of AI farming
- Enhanced production of vegetables and fruits with less consumption of water and other resources.
- Economically more feasible and maximum ROI.
- Production of fresh fruits and vegetables with negligible use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Capable of making eateries self-sufficient in food production.
- Plants can be produced directly at home without the need to depend on others.
- Countries would be less dependent on other countries for the food requirements. This means reduced exports.
- Large numbers of plantlets can be produced in a short time.
- Makes vertical farming industrially feasible.
- Improved quality of fully grown plants can be produced.
Artificial intelligence in farming is an emerging trend. This futuristic technology makes it possible to monitor plant growth and crop yield. Valuable data of all these can be stored and analyzed whenever required.
AI farming is quite beneficial in places where the climate is extremely harsh. These include regions that have arid or semi-arid conditions. Also, in places where water scarcity is a problem, AI farming is a blessing for the locals.