Around 3 billion people lived on Earth in the 1960s.
By 2050, this population is estimated to reach 10 billion. Current farming practices alone will not be able to feed this growing demand.
In the traditional agricultural cycle, a farmer prepares the soil, sows the seed, and then hopes the season brings favorable weather to support a good harvest. With the current climate taking a turn for the worse, feeding this growing population is going to be very challenging.
- Natural catastrophes can be disastrous, such as the drought in 2012 that devastated 80% of the agricultural area in the USA.
- Water and land resources are scarce and being used up to their limitations.
- Use of fertilizers and pesticides to improve yields has negative downstream impacts.
To grow more food we need more resources
Agricultural activities use 70% of the fresh water that is used worldwide. We are claiming more forests and converting it into arable land. Sometimes the cost is natural habitat destruction and wildlife extinction.
Technology has helped us overcome some of the challenges of food production in the past. One such technological solution is CEA.
Indoor Farming techniques could be a solution
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is a novel method that controls the environmental factors that the plants grow in. Variables like temperature, humidity, nutrients, and light can be monitored and adjusted to create the perfect growing conditions for any crop.
CEA also takes the weather’s unpredictability out of the picture by moving farming indoors.
We need to think ‘Inside the box’ to feed our future
These indoor farms use modern agricultural techniques like hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics. An indoor farm uses 90% less water than a traditional farm. Also, 2-acre vertical farm produces more than traditional farms produce in 720-acres.
Bountiful crops can be grown with very limited resources on an indoor farm.
Indoor farming companies are on the rise in the last few years. The industry is still in the early stages but venture capital is flowing in. There is still a long way to go and this will not replace traditional farming. But I still believe, THIS IS THE START OF SOMETHING REMARKABLE.