Container Farming: A Lucrative Business Plan
Over the past two decades, technology has allowed for drastic revolutions in many industrial sectors, and agriculture seemed to lag. Not anymore! Shipping container manufacturers have found yet another way to put the ubiquitous container to use.
Container farming is the latest buzzword that’s taking the farming and shipping container sectors by storm. Growing plants in retrofit shipping containers is an innovative idea that’s breaking the boundaries of food production. Container farming is the technique of growing edible plants in shipping containers instead of using the ground. The science that makes this idea possible is Hydroponics.The role of Hydroponics
What is Hydroponics? It is an innovative agricultural technique that uses nutrient-rich water instead of soil to grow plants. Growing plants inside a fully-contained structure mitigates the problem of soil-borne diseases and weeds. The retrofitted structure allows year-round growth regardless of the outside environment. Container farming is also the easiest way to monitor temperature, moisture and growth.
Above all, container farming is now seen as a niche business platform with lucrative prospects. A custom-built, automated, insulated vertical container farm can grow the equivalent of 2.5 acres of land. A farmer can easily operate at least three of these containers single-handedly. Container farming has many possibilities, from growing microgreens and leafy greens to root crops.
So, what do farmers stand to benefit from container farming? Let’s venture further into the details.
What Do You Gain From Shipping Container Farms?
Container farms can be set upright in the midst of urban settings, parking lots, warehouses, and even in your backyard if you want to grow your crops! Isn’t that amazing?
This unconventional but super-cool farming technique has gained the interest of millions of people who like reusing discarded shipping containers. One advantage we know is that shipping containers are easily available and easy to move.
Here are some of the other benefits of container farming:
- Easy to start
Millions of containers are made every year, and millions of others are decommissioned from their regular purpose. So, you have a countless number of containers waiting to be repurposed. This ease of availability aids in kickstarting your container farming project. Because containers are modular, it is easy to set a vertical farming system where farmers can walk in and get started. Operators can leverage different planting techniques to maximise the growth potential.
And if ever there is a problem with the container, you can replace it with a better one at reasonable rates.
- Easy transportation
Container farming is anywhere farming. Be it a barren landscape or a lush rural environment, your container manufacturer can transport your unit to the place of your choice. Shipping container mobility allows you to:
- Take your farm along with you if you relocate.
- Set up the farm in a location where there is high demand for their produce
- Curb the cost of transporting the produce to local markets.
- Make farming a home-based business.
Shorter travel distances ensure the produce remains fresher, less wastage, and fewer carbon emissions.
- Controlled growth environment
The inside of a container farm is a completely controlled and insulated environment that measures 40 feet x 9.5 feet. Powered by hydroponic farming, a unit may contain:
- Nutrient-rich water source to feed the plants.
- Powerful LED lights to give light-based energy
- Carbon Dioxide regulators aid photosynthesis.
- HVAC units to combat warmer climates.
Some investors are even considering hi-tech options like:
- Solar-powered panels
- Robotic systems for harvesting and transplanting
Such a controlled environment is highly conducive for countries with extreme weather systems, hurricanes, unexpected frosts, and droughts. Container farming mitigates weather-related challenges, which is one of the biggest hurdles of conventional farming. Farmers can harvest crops throughout the year without such worries.
- Multiple produce
Container farming is precision agriculture where everything is controlled. This controlled environment combined with hydroponics is ideal for growing multiple products simultaneously. The vertical plant panels can house upto 8000 plants, creating a lush canopy of various crops. Farmers can also experiment with growing exotic fruits and vegetables normally imported from other countries.
- Low carbon footprint
Container farming is extremely environment-friendly. Apart from the fact that these containers require a level, stable land to sit on, these farms can be created anywhere. Farmers can choose lands with low fertility or nearly impossible conditions to save substantially on carbon footprints. Also, when you think about the transport and infrastructural expenses to ship the produce, container farms make more sense.
- Role in agriculture
The future of agriculture may lie in container farming. Unlike traditional farming, container farming is designed to bypass some of the challenges and limitations such as:
- Extreme weather
- Short seasons
- Environmental limitations
Additionally, it offers a straightforward approach to crop production that reduces waste and costs for food suppliers. The increase in food production and the growing of certain crops allows farming operations to expand into regional areas that would otherwise have to import them.
- Value-based competition
Container farms are seeing more and more value-added businesses entering the market. Over time, competition will drive down container prices, making containing farming more feasible and profitable. Consequently, local food will be more readily available.
Container Farms: The Modern Twist in Farming
Container farming is a modern-day boon, for it holds immense potential in bringing farming to places where traditional agriculture is impossible. It can help reshape our food system, improve crop production, and reduce expenses for food suppliers.
However, capital and operating expenses need to reign in for the business to thrive. Additionally, containers should be designed for proper operation and an effective growing environment from the ground up.
Container farming holds the power to transform the global food shortage crisis. It is high time we realise its full potential and capitalise on it.
Are you interested in container farming? Want to invest in shipping containers to grow your produce? Experts at Supertech Industries, UAE, can give you a helping hand. Contact us today, and let’s discuss the possibilities!