More than half the world’s population lives in urban cities presently. But this figure is likely to cross an alarming figure within a few decades. India, China, and Nigeria will be taking the lead in urbanization. The requirement of infrastructure, transportation, water, energy, employment, education, and health will grow manifold. But the greatest worry will be how to feed this growing population with no food-related production/farms in the cities.
The food chain from the farms to your plate is a very long one, time-bound and prone to very high wastages in India. The wastage of food in India is equal to consumption in the United Kingdom.
Necessity is the mother of innovation. Presently most of the food production comes from farming using land as a medium, the reduced cultivable area, older techniques of farming and climatic dependency will not be able to cater for increased population in cities. The only sustainable solution in the future is to shift agriculture produce to the area where it will be consumed and remove the requirement of soil as a medium for farming.
the future of agriculture will be agro-tech”
Urban farming or vertical farming or smart gardening will be the next big thing and can be called Indoor farming, hydroponics, and aquaponics.
There are many Advantages of Urban Farming
(1) Not climate dependent. 24 hrs X 365 days a year. More crop rotation per year. Minimum effect of climate change as weather can be scientifically controlled. Get fresh great tasting vegetables, fruits and maybe flowers also in your neighborhood.
(2) Not land/soil dependent. The medium of growth can be water-Hydroponics or Aquaponics.
(3) Provides healthy and nutritious food free from insecticides, pesticide, and chemicals used as growth enhancers. Saves money. Traditional farming sometimes utilizes unhygienic water.
(4) Saves water about 10 times less compared to traditional farming. Plus water can be recycled and reused.
(5) Reduced transportation, manpower, intermediaries and cold storage cost.
(6) A platform to use IOT, new methods & technologies. Also, harness solar energy. Specialized LED lights will replace the requirement of direct sunlight.
(7) Reduced carbon emission, provide much needed green cover and help in controlling pollution.
(8) Creating more jobs, utilizing old buildings and vacant areas.
(9) No need to cut the forest to increase cultivable area required for additional food. Lowered environmental impact. Especially in India the arable agriculture land has depleted.
(10) Nearly 40% of food is wasted before reaching the end consumer. This figure can be reduced, thereby providing food for the needy. About 200 million Indians go hungry daily.
There are a lot of further advantages to the people and the country as a whole. In addition, it is also scalable and transferable. Technology is also available to breed fishes in the same water tanks, cross benefit, additional revenue, and food source.
As an individual, we can help the society, country, our environment and ourselves by contributing to the go green campaign also. It can be started as a hobby farming/ gardening and scaled in your residential society. Government is also providing training through skill India programmes in urban and rural areas.
Let’s Save the World “Together”