Labor Requirements in Indoor Agriculture – Urban Ag News


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The Laboratoire sur l’agriculture urbaine (Urban Agriculture Lab) is collaborating on a webinar on labor requirements in indoor agriculture. The webinar will be led by Dr. Simone Valle de Souza, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University.

The indoor agriculture (IA) offers an environmentally sustainable alternative to small or large-scale leafy green production, even in regions with less favorable climates, using significantly less water and land resources, little, if any, pesticides, and providing year-round fresh produce to urban dwellers. Although the concept is not new, only recently relevant technology has achieved economic feasibility enabling the industry to grow at a fast pace. However, while significant efforts have been made towards developing growing systems involving farmers, engineers and plant scientists, little has been produced in terms of social and economic analysis of IA. By encompassing all aspects of the food value chain stages from production, through harvesting, packaging, distribution, and retailing, these urban indoor farms have the ability to generate a range of jobs in urban areas.

This presentation will demonstrates the industry’s employment capacity by showing preliminary results obtained from an internationally distributed greenhouse and indoor farm labor survey. We will also invite you to participate in the phase 2 of this survey. Final results will be used to identify and estimate social and economic impact of urban indoor farms.

Dr. Simone Valle de Souza

Dr. Simone Valle de Souza is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics. Her work incorporates economic analysis of the interactions between the development of sustainable food production systems and consumer preferences. Her research seeks to provide a mapping of the trade-offs between inputs and outputs within an agricultural production system to promote industry development, environmental sustainability and improve local community development as well as foster access to high quality fresh food.

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