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Vertical farming project setup cost in 1/4th acre, requirements, advantages and disadvantages

With the increasing rate of population, agricultural land is becoming shorter and shorter. In cities, there is very little agricultural land left. In urban areas, people are shifting to animal farming by leaving plant-based agriculture because of less land and less soil fertility. It creates a huge problem for people in cities. 

Vertical farming solves the problem of less land and high productivity. The vertical farming method provides space to increase production 4 to 5 times on the same land as we can practice 4-acre agriculture production just in one acre. 

Let's understand what is setup required for vertical farming and how much they cost?

Vertical farming project setup and cost in 1/4th acre

Vertical farming is a way of plant farming in that we create an artificial atmosphere to grow various crops by using all the required components like soil, water, and fertilizers in a precise amount. 

Vertical farming setup cost

One of the best advantages of vertical farming is that we can practice it even on non-agricultural land. 

There are several types of vertical farming; hydroponics, aquaponics, and soil vertical farming. Following are setup cost requirements for soil vertical farming. 

Vertical farming requirements in 1/4th acre

Greenhouse cover

To provide ideal atmospheric conditions for vertical farming, we use greenhouse cover. It maintains the temperature inside and works ideally for vertical farming crops.

For 1/4th acre of land, we can make a 25x40 square meter greenhouse is precise. The height of the greenhouse is very important in vertical farming. So make it at least 8 to 10 meters in height.  

Vertical farming setup

The vertical farming setup consists of two main sections-

  • Vertical stand

Vertical stands are rectangular stands used to make multiple horizontal layers of pots to grow plants. These platforms are made of solid metal that can handle a good amount of weight. 

Either you can order the makers for your suggested size or you can buy ready-made stands for your vertical farming. It is good to transfer or maintain 2 meters long, 0.8 meters wide, and 4 meters in height stands. Each stand must be enough to fix plates of 1x0.4 square meters. 

Remember to fix tires in the bottom of all four legs of the stand to move around. In 1/4 acre, we can use 550 to 580 stands.  

  • Horizontal plates

These horizontal plates provide base platforms to keep the containers in layers. These are metal plane plates or you can use wooden plates too. 

The size of each plate should be according to the size of the stand. So in one stand, we can fix 4 plates vertically, and 2 plates horizontally. So in each stand, we have 8 plates.

In a 1/4 acre area, we need 4400 to 4640 plates for vertical farming.

Containers

It is good to use nursery cups either made of plastic or cement cups. But for later growth, avoid heavy cement containers because it is not easy to handle so much weight of pots for stands.

It is best to use lightweight plastic containers for later growth. Each pot size is according to the maximum size of the plant. So it is up to you what kind of crop you use in vertical farming.  

Soil mixture

You have to manually prepare soil mixture for vertical farming as you already know we don't use land agriculture in vertical farming. 

You need to prepare the soil for two stages. First for sprouting and second for further growth. For sprouting, you need to maintain the average amount of organic fertilizers and soil. Soil moisture should be according to the crop. 

For later growth, you can increase fertilizers and moisture according to the yield. 

Irrigation showering buckets

In vertical farming, we can't if you can't afford the extra cost of an automatic water showering system, then use manual showering buckets for irrigation of plants.

You can use ordinary plastic buckets for your crops but it takes time to irrigation in every single plant of the greenhouse vertical farm.

Vertical farming project setup cost

  • Land cost- $1,000
  • Greenhouse cost- $2,000

Vertical farming setup cost-

  • Vertical platforms cost- $5,000 to $5,500
  • Hoizontal plates cost- $7,000
  • Containers cost- $2,000
  • Spray buckets cost- $50(5 pieces)
The total cost- $17,000 to $17,500

Is vertical farming profitable?

Concluding it in a sentence is 'Yes, it makes four times profit than traditional agriculture on the same land after recovering all the investment you made.' 

Let's understand this. For the first year of vertical farming, your earn four times more profit margin. It will recover your investment, maybe in one year or a couple of years.

After recovering all the investment, you will earn a huge profit on the same crops. It is suggested you use multiple varieties of crops at a time. If they are friendly crops then it is well and good. At the time of maintenance, it will cost you a good amount.

You can apply for a subsidy for at least a greenhouse at the time of implementing greenhouse vertical farming. If everything goes perfectly, you can get a 35% of subsidy on your greenhouse. 

Advantages of vertical farming 

  • Even in non-agricultural lands, vertical farming is a successful method of growing high production of crops.
  • It saves water and fertilizers as we use them precisely in each container. 
  • Vertical farming is three to four times more profitable than ordinary farming methods. 
  • We can practice vertical farming even on small land and get 3 to 4 times more production from it.

Disadvantages of vertical farming 

  • Currently, vertical farming is not practical for poor or average farmers. Only rich farmers can invest in vertical farming. 
  • It cost a huge initial investment. 
  • It is mandatory to regularly check each plant of vertical farming consistently.
  • The maintenance cost is very high in vertical farming. 
  • There is a limited number of crops that we can grow in vertical farming.

Is vertical farming eco-friendly?

Yes. Vertical farming is eco-friendly as well as sustainable too. Vertical farming doesn't harm any environmental process or balance of the ecosystem during the whole practice. Instead, it creates artificial conditions for sustainability even in the odd conditions and increases the chances of producing more than 3 times. 

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