Eco friendly vertical farming: The new agriculture option for the future?
Vertical farming is a form of agriculture suitable for urban areas and places with small pieces of land.
According to a report by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), farmers will have to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the expected 9 billion world’s population. However, according to a UN report, a quarter of all land in the planet is highly degraded. In addition, most of today’s arable land in use continues to diminish due to practices that lead to soil erosion, while the land near cities and towns is being converted into real estate.
The impact of climate change and adverse weather events continue to affect further degrade the huge tracts of arable land, rendering it unusable in the foreseeable future. With the growing global population, the world has to find more sustainable agricultural methods to meet the world’s future food demands.
Vertical farming due to declining farming land
To some extent urbanization is also to blame; the cities occupies between two and three percent of the Earth’s landmass, but emitting over seventy percent of the atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The vertical technology can provide a the solution for the world food needs. Also known as or skyfarming, the vertical farming is a theoretical form of agriculture which can be done in urban high-rise buildings. Inside these buildings vegetables, fruit, fish, and even live-stock are grown using greenhouse environments.
There are so many factors that affect and reduce production in outdoor farming. And with indoor, vertical farming in cities, these could become a thing of the past. Some of the advantages of an indoor vertical garden are
- Controlled environment of a greenhouse will allow greater crop yields since it is not affected by drought while pests and plant diseases can be well-managed.
- Vertical indoor farming will also preserve our forests by avoiding deforestation to get agricultural land.
- With outdoor farming estimated to be only fifty percent successful due to factors such drought, pests and plant diseases, vertical farming can be carried out year round with over ninety percent efficiency.
- There will be reduced pollution by producing food within the city, since there less transportation of food from distant farms.
- The vertical farms will hopefully bring about remarkable evolutionary changes over the next few years due to its rapid and streamlined fashion than the current greenhouse industry. Some of the technologies used in this farms include sophisticated computer-controlled indoor environments, LED grow lighting, robotics, aeroponics and hydroponics, rooftop greenhouse crop production, etc.
‘The architects of Vincent Callebaut have proposed this concept for New York. This huge building will carry around 28 agricultural farms and dairy facilities. Inspired by the wings of dragonfly, this ecosystem will accommodate houses, offices, and labs. Its vegetation will offer cool air during the summer season. On the other hand, it will generate solar energy during the winter season’ source:
If this technology becomes successful, perhaps in the near future, food prices will not fluctuate with the uncontrollable weather patterns.