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25 Interesting Facts on Indoor Farming

Curious about the new trend of indoor farming? Global growth in the population – about 2 billion extra people by 2050 – has drawn concerns in the demand for food.

Roughly 60% of our food supply would need to increase, however in recent years, we’ve been on the cusp of a budding agricultural revolution. Indoor farming, or indoor vertical farming, has become a viable new source of locally grown and organic fruits, vegetables, microgreens, and more.

25 Interesting Facts on Indoor Farming
an indoor container farm

In this article, we’ll check out 25 interesting facts on indoor farming.

25 Interesting Facts on Indoor Farming

  1. Food innovation could become a $700 billion market by 2030; that’s 5x jump from the $135 billion market today.
  2. There were 2.3 million square feet of indoor farms worldwide as of 2016. That number is expected to grow to between 8.5 million and 16.5 million square feet by 2021.
  3. The global vertical farming market was worth $1.5 billion dollars in 2016 and is projected to grow to $6.4 billion dollars in 2023.
  4. Indoor farming has been around for quite a long time – the earliest example is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built more than 2,500 years ago.
  5. Five main crops that are grown indoors are leafy greens, microgreens, herbs, flowers, and tomatoes.
  6. Indoor farming is 170x more productive than outdoor fields.
  7. There is faster growth and more harvest cycles with indoor farming; for example, indoor lettuce farming has 4x as many crop turns as outdoor growers in a given year.
  8. Indoor growers yield 10-15x more than outdoor farms.
  9. The term vertical farming was coined by Gilbert Ellis Baily, an American geologist in a book about the subject.
  10. Hydroponics, a system often used in indoor farming, uses 90% less water.
  11. Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) is the most common hydroponic system that’s used today.
  12. Indoor farming allows for plants and crops to grow all year-round.
  13. NASA, along with other international space agencies, have experimented with hydroponic systems in space.
  14. Hydroponics have been around for thousands of years, however the term originated in 1937 by Science magazine.
  15. Food born illness costs nearly $15.6 billion per year in the US alone.
  16. AeroFarms invested $42 million in order to build the world’s largest indoor farm.
  17. In terms of new technology, indoor growers are mostly excited about the use of automation.
  18. The vertical farming sector has grown more than 24% and continues to grow between 2018 and 2024.
  19. Japan has shown the most success with indoor farming, with 200 large scale factories, known as ‘farming as manufacturing’
  20. Modern LED systems are optimally suited to vertical farming.
  21. Schools, including colleges and universities, are adapting and teaching about indoor farming.
  22. Indoor farming is opening up new locations to farm – like this underground vertical farm and an upcoming agricultural city.
  23. Vertical farming saves as much 90% of your space.
  24. Aeroponic and aquaponic are just two subsets of hydroponic systems.
  25. Aquaponics, which raises both fish and vegetables, has been practiced since 1000 AD.

In this article, we looked at 25 interesting facts about indoor farming, from the different subsets of indoor farming, to statistics of where the future is headed.

If you’re still curious about indoor farming or you’d like to see how one works, sign up for one of our free tours! If you’re interested in starting your own indoor or vertical container farm, contact us via our website or call us at 602.753.3469.