Up, Up and Away! The Economics of Vertical Farming

Chirantan Banerjee, Lucie Adenaeuer


With rising population and purchasing power, demand for food and changing consumer preferences are building pressure on our resources. Vertical Farming, which means growing food in skyscrapers, might help to solve many of these problems. The purpose of this study was to construct a Vertical Farm and thereof investigate the economic feasibility of it. In a concurrent Engineering Study initiated by DLR Bremen, a farm, 37 floors high, was designed and simulated in Berlin to estimate the cost of production and market potential of this technology. It yields about 3,500 tons of fruits and vegetables and ca. 140 tons of tilapia fillets, 516 times more than expected from a footprint area of 0.25 ha due to stacking and multiple harvests. The investment costs add up to € 200 million, and it requires 80 million litres of water and 3.5 GWh of power per year. The produced food costs between € 3.50 and € 4.00 per kilogram. In view of its feasibility, we estimate a market for about 50 farms in the short term and almost 3000 farms in the long term. To tap the economic, environmental and social benefits of this technology, extensive research is required to optimise the production process.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jas.v2i1.4526


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2013 Chirantan Banerjee, Lucie Adenaeuer

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

E-mail: jas@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

If you have any questions, please contact jas@macrothink.org.