Pros and cons of controlled environmental agriculture (CEA)
Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) is a farming method in which plants are grown in a special closed environment. CEA is the technology of plant growing in a specially designed indoor environment. This method allows for controlling environmental factors for plant cultivation and is used to optimize plant growth and production and to protect plants from diseases and pests. The cultivated plant species may be for consumption by humans or animals. According to the purpose of use, products that appeal to the food, feed, or medical sectors can be grown.
Let’s see the heading pros and cons of CEA together.
1. High yield: Controlled environment agriculture helps to obtain higher product yields per unit area by increasing product efficiency. CEA provides an ideal environment to control the growth and production of plants and to optimize the desired values needed by plants. Therefore, plants are grown by this method yield higher.
2. Year-round production: CEA is seasonally independent and allows plant production throughout the year.
3. Protection from diseases and pests: CEA is an ideal method to protect plants from diseases and pests. The environment in which plants grow can be completely sterile, thus preventing the spread of diseases.
4. Water and fertilizer savings: Controlled environment agriculture provides the ability to precisely control the water and fertilizer needs of plants so that water and fertilizer can be saved. CEA allows plants to give the right amount of water they need. This helps conserve water and reduces water consumption. When compared to conventional farming methods, it has been observed that water saving has increased to 95% and above in some crops and cultivation methods. In direct proportion to the amount of water used, the amount of fertilizer used is reduced and unnecessary fertilizer use is avoided.
5. Food safety, and reduced use of pesticides and herbicides: CEA allows you to control the environment in which plants are grown. Therefore, plants are grown to avoid contamination with chemicals or toxins, ensuring food safety. The need for pesticides and herbicides for the control of plant diseases can be reduced or completely abandoned.
6. Less land requirement: CEA can achieve higher yields by using less land.
1. High cost: Since Controlled environment agriculture requires high technology, it is more costly than traditional (conventional) farming methods.
2. Energy consumption: CEA is higher in terms of energy consumption. In this field, the use of renewable energy sources and the development of devices that consume less energy come to the fore.
3. Manpower: CEA requires more manpower. It requires workers with special skills to control the growth and production of plants.
4. Limited plant species: Some plant species, especially high canopy plants, can be difficult to grow indoors.
5. Risk factors: CEA may also come with certain risk factors. These factors may include disease, ventilation problems, ambient humidity control, and others. At this point, system conditions, functions, and optimization gain importance.
6. Lack of natural conditions: CEA tries to imitate the conditions in which plants naturally grow. However, since some natural factors, such as wind and insects, are not in artificial environments, the quality of plants grown by this method may decrease. Institutions and scientists working on CEA technology continue to work to mimic these deficiencies in CEA conditions.