Closed Multi-level Production System - An Option

Ratkóczy, Dániel – Mizik, Tamás – Szabó, Zoltán

Keywords: agriculture, closed production system, vertical farming JEL: Q01, Q16

Overpopulation and climate change pose serious challenges to humanity and call into question the sustainability of current input-intensive production systems. This has implications for both food security and food safety. In addition, as the population grows, the area of land available for cultivation per unit of population is steadily decreasing. Closed, vertical, precision production systems offer a combined response to these problems. They have the advantages of being independent of weather conditions, allowing continuous production throughout the year and allowing for a well-automated production process. Precision technology reduces the use of inputs and the need for pesticides in a closed system. However, the main disadvantage of this technology is the higher production costs compared to conventional production. The results of the experiment with romaine lettuce in the cellar of a family house are fully in line with the literature: it is essential to keep all production parameters at an optimum level, without which the development of the lettuce will not be ideal. Due to the cost constraint, this was not achieved in terms of temperature, which resulted in a halt in the growth of heads. However, it turned out that the production process can be implemented in a simple and cost-effective way, i.e. technically there is no obstacle even in urban environments. Although it is not yet economically sustainable everywhere (the cost of production is higher than for arable crops), its environmental and social benefits are indisputable.