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Food and Agriculture Institute

Indoor Agriculture

What are the opportunities, challenges, and critical areas for improvement in indoor agriculture methods?

Indoor agriculture techniques have advanced considerably in recent years, and in collaboration with industry partners, FAI researches the potential that this farming approach has for contributing to sustainability objectives. Research done by FAI in this area includes a study on the climate mitigation potential that hydroponically-grown fodder has if implemented widely within British Columbian and Albertan farm systems, examining this potential under different planning and policy scenarios. FAI will continue collaborating with industry partners on indoor agriculture research, and planned projects include examining ways of optimizing indoor growing processes (including the data collection and artificial intelligence components) and increasing the diversity of indoor-grown products (particularly to include products that are culturally and economically important in the Lower Mainland). In addition, FAI aims to draw upon thinking from industry ecology, and it will explore current practices and new opportunities for positioning indoor farming within larger agriculture-aquaculture systems, where outputs (e.g., waste products) from one system are used as inputs (e.g., fertilizers, fuel) for other systems.

Learn more about the FAI's indoor agriculture research projects:

Vertical farming

Hydroponic Fodder


Benyam, A., Newell, R., & Glaros, A. (2022). The potential role of vertical agriculture in building sustainable and resilient food systems: Outcomes from a stakeholder focus group. University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada.

Glaros, A., Newell, R., Benyam, A., Pizzirani, S., & Newman, L. (2024). Vertical agriculture’s potential implications for food system resilience: Outcomes of focus groups in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia. Ecology and Society, 29(1), art12.

Glaros, A., Newell, R., & Pizzirani, S. (2023). Scenarios for vertical agriculture development in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia. University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada.

Glaros, A., & Newell, R. (2022). Vertical agriculture: Exploring its role in sustainable and resilient community food system [poster]. University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada.

Horton, L. (2022). Determining the viability of vertical farming practices in the Fraser Valley: A spatial approach [poster presentation]. University of the Fraser Valley Student Research Day 2022, Abbotsford, Canada.

Newell, R., Newman, L., Dickson, M., Vanderkooi, B., Fernback, T., & White, C. (2021). Hydroponic fodder and greenhouse gas emissions: A potential avenue for climate mitigation strategy and policy developmentFACETS, 6(1), 334-357.

Pizzirani, S., Newell, R., Glaros, A., Rahman, S., & Newman, L. (2023). Vertical Farming Innovation: Improving Food Security & Conserving Biodiversity. Amplify 36(3), 38-46.

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