Monday, October 19, 2015

"indoor agriculture", "vertical farms", "urban farms"

reading one of those social news websites, and ran across a link about people investing hundreds of millions of dollars (literally!) for farms that are a few acres at best.  They list one farm as "...a giant 80,000 square feet" - let me convert that to acres for  you:  less than 2 acres.  And to build that two acre farm they're spending at least 50 million dollars.  ($50,000,000)
Looks sterile to me.  Kind of the opposite of where I want my food to grow

All of this attention, hundreds of millions of investment in "new" ideas. But none of them are as cheap, or as proven, as an open field, rain and sunshine.
For some specialty crops greenhouses with natural light and maybe a bit of artificial heat - like the hothouses they use to grow tomatoes in british columbia - but this constant harping of "vertical farms" in my opinion is best described as a way to soak the investors.
I'm hugely skeptical that any of these efforts are 'sustainable' in the sense that they'll be in business in 20 years.
the $100 million that kkr invested will be returned by selling shares in this 'new' farming venture to more gullible people.
the "challenges' they list - unproven equipment and techniques, funding, and labor - ignore the fact that we have proven techniques, funding and labor for conventional farms. the only risk here is whether we can get someone else to buy the pig once we've applied the lipstick.

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