KResearch holds the view that plant factories present a new and interesting option for farmers to use as a farming tool because of its precision in controlling farming environments by using technology and innovation. Plant factories answer the demands of the Agriculture 4.0 era by increasing agricultural yields. Nonetheless, the development of plant factories in Thailand is still in the early stages (2019-2021) because the cost of horticulture greenhouse facilities is high or around THB3 million each. Additionally, only a small group of farmers have the required knowledge for this technology. Early adopters are now limited to a new breed of agro technicians. It is also important to use the right types of seedlings that they can be further developed into high-end products such as herbs and plants that can be extracted to add value in related industries such as medicine, pharmaceuticals, health supplementary food, skincare and spa products.
Looking ahead, KResearch forecasts that in the next 3-8 years, plant factories will be widely used in the Thai farming sector, and it will be increasingly utilized for commercial purposes as previously undertaken by the government and the private sector. Plant factory technology and knowledge are poised to be widely disseminated while smart farming products will become more popular and cheaper. It is expected that from 2022-2026, the cost of a plant factory will be reduced by 20 percent annually to reach THB1.0 million-THB2.4 million, enabling aspiring smart farmers to invest in plant factories.