Why Vertical Farming may be the Future of Food Production.
Food scarcity and access to nutritional products are becoming a global issue as man moves further into the 21st century. The way we grow food will have to change to meet the growing population which sits around 7.7 billion people and counting. According to the UN, it’s predicted that the human population could reach 10 billion people by the year 2050. The current way we grow crops is archaic, to say the least, and overdue for an upgrade in the wake of climate change and soil erosion.
Roughly one billion people are unable to gain access to food or are combating hunger in some form. One would think the uber-rich would have solved the problem of world hunger decades ago. Jeff Bezos for example makes estimates of three hundred and twenty-one million dollars a day which is more than enough to feed millions if not billions of people. The Amazon fresh grocery store is a step in the right direction but much work still has to be done to curb worldwide hunger.
Water is essential in agriculture
Traditional farming uses a lot of freshwater to keep crops hydrated and vibrant for harvest. Upwards of 70% of all freshwater goes towards agriculture which isn’t sustainable and poses a challenge to scale new farm produce demand. For centuries if humans wanted to produce more food they cut down forests or plowed grasslands to clear land for crops. Arable land is shrinking and to date, man has cleared an area as large as South America to produce crops. Vertical farming plans to use less water, no soil, and less landmass through a series of methods such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics.
Vertical farming is the practice of producing crops on vertical or horizontal inclined layers or trays that are integrated into common structures like shipping containers and repurposed warehouses. A climate-controlled environment where crops are grown in areas that lack constant sunlight or access to large amounts of fresh water can be found with the influx of vertical farms. There are articles out there claiming vertical farming is an unnatural form of agriculture and cannot compare to natural sunlight, dirt and rain but breakthroughs are being made. The sun emits white light which is a combination of all colors in the wavelength spectrum but plants only use a few of these wavelengths for photosynthesis. LED bulbs have become very efficient at getting the correct wavelengths that allow plants to grow.
Studies have shown red and blue light specifically make plants grow. Vertical farmers learned to increase energy efficiency by using bulbs that emit these two colors combined giving a distinct purple glow seen at most vertical farm growing beds. Using nutrient-rich water, no soil and even artificial intelligence to monitor timing, temperature, and pest control allows vertical farms to literally be placed anywhere. Independent of climate conditions vertical farms can grow crops year-round can feed people at a faster rate with better yield something a growing population will need in major cities miles away from farmers markets or cropland.
Major companies and investors are getting onboard the vertical farming industry bandwagon with some amazing results. Bowery Farming Inc is a leading company in the indoor farming market and we can only assume the trend will continue to grow as more developed country’s populations increase with hungry mouths to feed. Hopefully, as the industry continues to grow impoverished communities and food deserts across America will dry up and people have will access to quality food ubiquitously in the near future. In order to come up with better new innovative ways to provide food for all of humanity. It will take a lot of hard work and research on the science behind vertical farming.
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About The Author
Dawdu M. Amantanah is a best selling author of several books and content contributor for Bitcoin Magazine. He is passionate about cryptocurrency, economics, radical entrepreneurship and whatever else he finds interesting at the time. Have questions about cryptocurrency? You can connect with him on Twitter.