The indoor farming market is projected to register a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. With the force and isolation of COVID-19, many countries around the world have realized that strengthening food production and distribution systems is key to fighting hunger and tackle the double burden of malnutrition and the development of indoor farming can aid in embracing all dimensions of various food security.
An increase in health consciousness and consumption of residue-free food has paved the way for the usage of advanced techniques, like indoor farming. People are growing the necessary crops in their own houses on a small scale, in order to have food that is free from pests, and this has resulted in a higher yield.
Soil-based indoor farming dominates the market among the various growing types in the indoor farming market. Its ability to enhance the harvesting cycle of the plants, when compared to traditional farming is driving its market growth.
By facility type, glass or play greenhouses occupy a larger value while indoor deep-water culture system is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. There is an increase in the demand for sustainable food production in the Middle East, where achieving this is possible by adopting indoor vertical farming technologies in agriculture.
North America accounted for the largest market share in 2020. The US is a major contributor to the share in the region, followed by Canada and Mexico. The indoor farming market in the Asia-Pacific region is growing rapidly with the industry being benefitted from government policies are subsidies following as increased adoption of modern farming practices.
The market for indoor farming is highly fragmented, with the top players accounting for a minor share. Some of the notable players in the market are AeroFarms, Bright Farms Inc., Bowery Inc., FreshBox Farms, Metropolis Farms Inc., Garden Fresh Farms, and Village Farms International Inc.
Key Market Trends
Declining Arable Land
One of the main reasons for the diminishing yield is that the cultivable land has been shrinking over the years in addition to unfavorable weather conditions, like droughts, floods, soil erosion, and heavy utilization of pesticides, which is decreasing the fertility of the soil, globally. In some of the developing countries such as China, there are approximately 334 million acres of arable land, of which around 37 million acres are non-cultivable and with a growing population this poses a major threat. The alternative to creating more arable land is to enhance the yield and productivity of land currently being cultivated. These technologies include high-yielding varieties, management of fertilizers and pesticides, mechanization, irrigation management, and employment of new farming techniques such as indoor farming.
The World Bank statistics in 2016, depicts that South Asia is using 94% of its potential arable land. In contrast, in Sub-Saharan Africa, only 22% of the potentially arable land is under cultivation. Moreover, rain-fed agriculture is practiced on 80% of this arable land. Due to such constraints, more production is required from less land, wherein, indoor farming helps in a higher yield of different crops.
Therefore, as the aerable land is declining, the increasing need for maximizing crop yields would drive the indoor farming market in the future.
North America Dominates by being the Largest Market for Indoor Farming
North America accounted for the largest share in the global indoor farming industry in 2020. With the help of high-efficiency LED lights and enhanced indoor management practices, the United States growers have been able to adopt large-scale indoor farming. Such practices are expected to reduce energy lighting costs by 50%, thus, reducing the carbon footprint of controlled environment agriculture. As per the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average yield of conventional lettuce farming doubled by two folds, when cultivated through vertical farming. Currently, the indoor farming industry in the United States is predominantly dominated by greenhouse crop production. The demand for greenhouse tomatoes in the United States is driving the market demand for hydroponic operations. Indoor farming is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, drylands in Mexico occupy approximately 101.5 million hectares of land, thereby, thrusting the need for indoor farming practices. Canada has also seen a positive growth trend, contributing significantly to the world exports of hydroponically grown tomatoes. The growth of hydroponics and aeroponics systems in the region is further driving the overall indoor farming market, majorly due to the increasing focus on adopting innovative and efficient technologies to improve the yields.
The market for indoor farming is highly fragmented, with the top players accounting for a minor share and the other small companies capturing the major share in the market.
The market is highly fragmented, with major revenue-generating companies which are Village Farms International Inc, Aerofarms, Metropolis Farms Inc, Fresh Box Farms Inc, and Bowery Inc, among others, cornering just some part of the market share.
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