The global Plant Factory Market size is estimated to be valued at USD 121.8 billion in 2021 and projected to reach USD 172.5 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. Various factors have played a major role in driving the plant factory market growth across the globe. It is an efficient alternative to the rising concerns on food security and shrinking arable land since it provides growers the ability to cultivate crops even in the absence of soil. One of the major drivers is that it provides a higher yield compared to traditional agricultural techniques, owing to the increase in harvest cycles. Furthermore, plant factories eliminate the use of artificial ripening agents and pesticides, which helps create nutritionally superior vegetable products.
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Opportunities Increased adoption of plant factories by restaurants and grocery stores amid the Covid-19 pandemic
The pandemic has successfully highlighted the impact food industry businesses can have when the supply and distribution chains are affected, and hydroponic, aquaponic, greenhouse systems are the best alternative that they could adopt. Thus, the market is estimated to grow with such scenarios in the food and agriculture industries changing rapidly. Restaurants and grocery stores are starting to incorporate plant factory systems such as hydroponic systems into their business models as a way to provide fresh produce. This also reduces transportation and packaging costs.
Challenges: Risk of equipment failure and delay in the learning curve among growers
A challenging factor that restricts market growth involves higher risks of equipment failure, resulting in limiting the production, further resulting in hindering adoption rates. For instance, if a piece of the system fails, such as a water pump, then it might lead to results, including the death of the plants, within a matter of hours. Without soil, there is no water or nutrient storage for plants to feed on. Much like any typical grow room, in case of a power outage, the backup must be ready. This might result in additional costs, consequently affecting the cost of production and profit margins.
The vegetables segment, by crop type, is projected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.
Vegetables that can be grown in plant factories include tomatoes, squash, broccoli, artichoke, beans, and peas. A few other vegetables are leafy greens, including spinach, kale, and arugula, and high-producing crops, such as lettuce and cucumber. Vegetables have a relatively short harvest time compared to fruits, which can be further reduced through cultivation in a plant factory. Apart from tomatoes and leafy greens, plant factories are also being adopted for cucumbers and pepper production in recent years. The growth potential for these crops is expected to be high.
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The European region dominates the plant factory market with the largest share in 2021.
Europe has traditionally been at the forefront of implementing advanced techniques in smart greenhouse horticulture. Countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, and France have large areas under greenhouse cultivation. Advancement in greenhouse farming has supported the growth of plant factories in Europe.
This report includes a study on the marketing and development strategies, along with the product portfolios of leading companies. It consists of profiles of leading companies, AeroFarms (US), BrightFarms (US), Gotham Greens (US), Bowery Farming (US), AppHarvest (US), Plenty Unlimited Inc. (US), Mirai Co. Ltd. (Japan), Kalera (Norway), and Farminova (Turkey).
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