6 Benefits of CEA

6 Benefits of CEA

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced form of agriculture and refers to an indoor growing environment whereby the environmental conditions are controlled to optimise plant growth. There are a number of benefits of CEA technology,

CEA techniques require knowledge of chemistry, horticulture, engineering, plant physiology and pathology. In using this type of technology, farmers have greater control and can maximise the most beneficial aspects of the environment, such as lighting and temperature, to ensure more productive and healthier plants.  

By applying the techniques of CEA, specialised crops for various industries such as pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals can be grown. 

What are the benefits of CEA? 

1 - Higher Yields of Produce 

In conventional farming, yields are at the mercy of the natural environment. Factors such as temperatures, sunlight, rainfall, and pests can affect produce growth and the resulting yield. It also means that extreme weather, such as droughts or heavy rainfall, can easily wipe out a field of crops in one go. 

Using controlled environment agriculture ensures crops are receiving the exact amount of light, heat, water, and nutrients that they need at any one time. Thus, controlled farms maintain a produce growth-rate that stays consistent all year round. 

2 – Produce Tastes Better  

By combining science, nature and technology, the growing environment can be designed to consistently get the best out of each plant, such as achieving a strong or mellowed flavour dependent on needs.  

In addition to this, a controlled environment eliminates the risk of pests ruining a crop. No pests mean no pesticides are needed, and crops can be grown without the need for any additional chemicals. 

3 - Less Water is Used Compared to Conventional Farming 

CEA technologies use up to 95% less water when compared to conventional farming. None is wasted due to the re-circulating systems. 

Moreover, with the absence of chemicals and pesticides, produce can be harvested and packaged ready for sale without the need for washing. Aside from saving water, this also helps to prolong shelf life of the salad leaves, providing a better quality product.  

4 - Less Land Required 

One of the benefits of CEA and using a vertical farming system is that crops are stacked vertically, thus are grown upwards rather than outwards.  

Just 1 acre of an indoor area can offer the equivalent production of around 4-6 acres outside, taking up less land and using less space overall. These controlled systems can be used within urban areas, where there may not be much space, and where they can supply the local population.  

5 - Reduces Transportation-Related Emissions 

In many regions of the world, climate and environmental conditions make it impossible to meet consumer needs year-round with only local produce, yet consumers are increasingly demanding fresh, high-quality produce that is free of pesticides and chemicals. 

The UK currently imports 45% of our food, with the three largest value groups being fruit and vegetables, meat and beverages. This creates a big impact on CO2 emissions, through transport of food by land, air, and sea. 

CEA provides the technology to grow crops in the UK that wouldn’t usually survive in our climate. By moving this production to an indoor controlled farm, more produce can be grown locally. Transportation and importation of food can be reduced. 

6 - It Creates Less Food Waste 

The United Nations found that an estimate of around one third of all food product is wasted each year.  

This is a result of produce spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices, or from it simply rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers. In addition to this, environmental factors can also create waste from crops spoiling in fields due to disease, pests, or weather extremes. 

By expertly combining science, nature, and proven technology, we’re helping to secure the future of valuable plants threatened with extinction. Specialising in the global supply of premium plants and helping to reverse biodiversity damage created by uncontrolled harvesting.  

Learn more about Oragen Group.

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