Vertical farming, a revolution in plant production – Presented by Leo Marcelis, Wageningen University

Leo Marcelis, Wageningen University, will speak at Vertical Farming Conference, on June 26, during AgriFood Innovation Event 2019 in Venlo, The Netherlands.

Today’s rapidly urbanising societies challenge our food system to feed cities. Vertical Farming can provide a secure and sustainable route to provide cities with fresh food. Advantages are: no pesticides, no nutrient emission, only 2-4 litres of water per kg produce, much less land use, less waste, and lower food mileage, though energy use is still high.

Vertical farming not only allows to greatly improve quality (taste, aroma, appearance, shelf life, nutritional value, safety) but also to provide guarantees on vegetable quantity and quality every day of the year independent of weather, climate change, or location.

In this presentation I will first discuss the advantages of vertical farms as well as some bottlenecks. Subsequently, I will elaborate on how the crop production in vertical farms and quality of the fresh vegetables can be fully controlled by the right choice of lighting in interaction with other growth conditions.


What drives you?

I have a passion for plants. I want to understand their functioning and how this knowledge can be applied for production of crops in controlled environments.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?

Latest knowledge on how to direct the growth and quality of plants by lighting and climate control in vertical farms.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?

Cheaper and more efficient LEDs

What kind of impact do you expect them to have?

This will very much help to make vertical farming (more) profitable

What are the barriers that might stand in the way?

High electricity use, high costs. Our research helps to overcome these barriers

“Special Quote”

We can make any desired type of plant just by making the right use of light and climate conditions of a vertical farm

About Leo Marcelis

Leo grew up on a farm. He studied Horticulture at Wageningen University. Since 1987 he worked for several departments of Wageningen UR. Throughout the years he researched many aspects of growth and functioning of horticultural plants grown in greenhouses and vertical farms. His research contributes to sustainable horticultural production while improving crop production and quality; this includes saving of energy, crop monitoring, crop modelling, efficient use of (LED)light, efficient use of water and nutrients.
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About Wageningen University

Wageningen University is a leading university in the field of Agriculture. The chair group Horticulture and Product physiology is the only university group in the Netherlands that is focussed on horticulture and holds a strong position in horticultural research and education in Wageningen. The role of the Horticulture and Product Physiology group (HPP) is to foster the science of the supply chain for crops produced under protected cultivation. The focus of the group is on greenhouse horticulture, vertical farming and the post-harvest quality of products produced in greenhouses and vertical farms as well as the post-harvest quality of tropical fruit.

agrifood innovation eventAbout AgriFood Innovation Event
On June 26-27, 2019, the 3rd edition of the global AgriFood Innovation Event will take place in Venlo, The Netherlands.

The event will include a two-day expo, four conferences – 3D Food Printing Conference, Healthy Nutrition Conference, Vertical Farming Conference and Smart Farming Conference and more activities such as lab tours, demo corners.

3D Food Printing Conference: Research and development (taste, texture, structure, flavor, color, nutrition) | Technologies for 3D Food Printing |Ingredients for 3D Food Printing | Business Models | Patent / Legal and Regulatory issues | Investment opportunities

Healthy Nutrition Conference: Food Innovation and health | Intestinal Microbiology | Behavioural Gastronomy | Nutritional Sciences and Food Law / Regulation | Smart & Healthy Ingredients | Sustainable Food Manufacturing | Food design | Funding

Vertical Farming Conference: Available technologies – LED lighting, sensors, AI | Plant condition issues like: CO2, Nutrients, Irrigation, Climate, Lighting | Food safety / HACCP | Robotics | Improved resource-use efficiency | Sustainable Buildings (design, green roof, energy) | Smart Cities / Architecture / Urban Design | From traditional farmer to vertical farmer

Smart Farming Conference: Available technologies for Farming 4.0 – drones, sensors, Internet of Things, Robotics, Big Data, AI and more | Precision agriculture | Precision Livestock Farming | Plant and crop science for improved resource-use | Investment in R&D | New business models | Cross disciplinary themes

For more information about the conferences and the expo, we invite you to visit:

This event is organised by Jakajima. For a complete list of upcoming conferences and events, we invite you to visit

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