Gresham House, a UK alternative investment specialist, plans to boost its investment in vertical farms by 10 times over the next three to five years, boosting its total commitment to between £300 million ($344 million) and £500 million.

Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. invested in an Israeli-Dutch vertical farm startup called Future Crops in March. And now, BNP Paribas Asset Management and CPR Asset Management, a unit of Amundi SA, are considering potential investments. 

“We have to really recognize that in a time of limited resources, limited fertile soil, and limited water availability, we need a new way to feed nine billion people in the next 20 years,” said Rob Appleby, founder, and chief investment officer of Cibus funds, a private-equity platform specializing in food and agriculture. “That’s why you’re going to see growth in the sector.” 

On the plus side, vertical farming “is more water efficient and land efficient than traditional farms or glass houses, and also has strong benefits in terms of food security,” said Peter Bachmann, managing director at Gresham House. The company, whose clients are mostly local-authority pensions, has an investment in Fischer Farms, a producer of leafy greens. 

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