Urban Farming is the need of the Hour
Food is one of the biggest challenges our planet is facing currently. And why not, the entire food system needs a complete overhaul. The rate at which the human race is expanding combined with the limited agricultural land which is shrinking by the day means that we are producing less food with increasing number of mouths to feed. The rate at which people are migrating to cities is frightening which means that food needs to be transported from various parts of the country or even world to these ‘human clusters’ contributing to global climate change. The concept of growing and consuming local produce is going to be the key in future as it is expected that around 80 percent of world’s population will be living in cities by 2050.
As the megacities are growing at an astounding rate, it is imperative that food is grown nearby to reduce the impact of food transport on environment and to support the population in a sustainable way. This has made urban farming as the need of the hour. Growing crops on land which is unused or vacant will be trend in upcoming time. In fact, it has already started. Growing plants and crops in skyscrapers, abandoned factories and parking lots has already started to take shape.
We are already seeing many ventures in the field of hydroponics which involves growing fruits and vegetables in the interiors in a controlled environment using artificial lights and moisture. Vertical farms are already going up in Sweden which consists of tracks allowing plants to travel up and down the building to maximize sunlight exposure and make the harvest easier. Such futuristic building is expected to be complete by end of this year. There is also an example of an Arizona family which converted its backyard swimming pool into a food oasis. With solar power, water conservation, poultry farming and aquaculture, the family is able to produce its own food throughout the year.
There are multiple such initiatives around us which have grown out of need. Providing food for the megacities of future won’t be an easy task and to balance it with sustainability will be too much to ask for. Traditional farming will need to be supported by urban farming if we have to feed all mouths sustainably in future.