Will Vertical Farming be Feeding The Cities Of The Future?
This article looks at vertical farming as a solution to the food crisis facing humanity. Hunger is prevalent through out the world, especially with the poor living in major cities. A part of me feels happy that people are thinking outside the box to find a way to fulfill the need for food, but there is another part of me, the one that wants land (soil) to be restored, regenerated, so this food can grow in the ground the way it's meant to be.
With hidroponics or aquaponics you can certainlyl grow food, it has been proven time and time again, but so much of the benefits of growing in soil has yet to be discovered, that I think these kind of crops might be missing something inherently essential.
Read it for yourself and you decide.
The future of urban farming is no more outdoor, but indoor and vertical. (Image source: Sky Greens)
The vertical farming concept took birth in 1999, as an idea in Dr. Dickson Despommier class on medical ecology, in Columbia University. Despommier defines a vertical farm as any building, which grows food inside of it and, which is taller than a single storey. Employing closed-loop agricultural technology, all the water and nutrients are recycled and the only thing that actually leaves the building is the produce.
The concept of vertical farming did not arise as another fanciful way of growing food, but as a practical solution to meet the impending food crisis facing humanity. Out of the present 7 billion world population, 50 percent of them are living in cities, and it is estimated that by the year 2050, the human population will reach 10 billion with more than 80 percent living in urban centers. As of now, 80 percent of the earth’s land suitable for farming is already in use and this land mass will not be sufficient to meet humanity’s food needs in the next 35 years.
Looking at these statistics, the need of the hour is an efficient local food growing system that has low demands on energy and water, is not susceptible to climatic changes, and occupies less land space than traditional farms. Vertical farming fits these expectations, and many entrepreneurs and innovators around the world have successfully converted this concept into reality.
Food is now been grown in such unlikely places as old factories, abandoned warehouse and industrial buildings. Technological advances in vertical farming methods and indoor lighting is enabling to grow food alongside existing commercial and residential structures and making local food available for city dwellers.