The vertical farming market spans the world, including Italy. In vertical farming, crops are cultivated in indoor environments, without soil, and on several layers. The benefit of vertical farming is all variables that determine the growth process of the plant can be controlled. Increasing technological advances have allowed for greater effectiveness and increased production, which is expected to increase demand in the coming years.
Still few investments in Italy
Unfortunately, vertical farming is still a rather limited phenomenon in terms of industrial application, which can be explained by the fact that the method is not only complex but also expensive.
In 2019, Italian agrifood startups raised just 0.1% of the capital invested in the sector globally, placing Italy in 14th place in Europe for capital raised: in Spain, for example, 20 times as much has been invested (AgFunder, 2020). Despite the limitations of access to capital, Italy still produces considerably: in 2020, local agrifood startups represented 6.8% of the global total (Forward Fooding) and the 4.0 agriculture market produced €540 million - + 20% compared to 2019 - against only 3-4% of the total cultivated area (Smart Agrifood Politecnico di Milano Observatory, 2021).
The largest European farm near Monza
At the gates of Milan, Planet Farms - the largest European vertical farm - was inaugurated on 25 October, thanks to the two founding partners, Luca Travaglini and Daniele Benatoff.
Read the complete article at Il Sole 24 (in Italian).