Agriculture and farming are some of the oldest and most important professions in the world. Since the beginning of humanity, our ancestors discovered that agriculture, in its earlier form back in that time, was their main source of food. Since then, agriculture has come a long way in how we farm and grow crops thanks to various technologies.
Yet, it seems that humanity is heady towards very challenging food problems. First of all, we are currently dealing with lots of environmental concerns that make experts believe that soil fertility is rapidly decreasing. And, obviously, this will have a major impact on food production.
Secondly, it is believed that by 2050, the global population will reach almost 10 billion people. And, as our current agricultural system stands, experts believe that we won’t be able to produce enough food to feed everybody. In fact, experts believe that global food production must increase by 70% by 2050 to meet population growth demands. Pretty shocking and scarring, right?
So, is there anything that will help us address these problems before they lead to a global lack of food situation? Well, we would say that today, agriculture technology is our best bet. And, over the past century, it seems that technology use in this sector increases rapidly worldwide.
The $5 trillion worldwide agriculture industry is now turning to technology to get better at producing food. From technologies that help us use less land to produce more crops and technologies that significantly impact the productivity and yield of those farmed areas, technology will make agriculture look very different from today in the future.
Let’s check out some of the most innovative agriculture technologies and practices that might end up putting food on your plate in the near future.
However strange the concept of vertical farming might seem right now, it is an ingenious method to generate food in areas where the soil is scarce or not enough arable land to produce enough food. Plus, this farming method is also addressing the water scarcity problem as it lowers the requirement of water up to 70%. Plus, by using growing shelves mounted vertically, indoor vertical farming significantly reduces the amount of land space needed to grow plants.
This farming method is especially handy for challenging environments such as deserts, mountainside, and, obviously, urban areas and cities. And, most vertical farms are either hydroponics or aeroponics. The good news is that both types require no soil use meaning that the plants can be grown no matter the soil fertility in the location.
Moreover, this farming method can also be the solution for the labor shortage in the agriculture industry happening these days. Robots can be used to handle all processes from harvesting to planting and logistics.
Imagine the work you would have to do to harvest and plant 3 acres of land by hand. That would be really inefficient, exhausting, and a real waste of time, right? Now, imagine only having to operate a robot or drone to do all this work for you. Pretty simple, right?
Well, thanks to new advancements in technology, farmers now have access to tools that can help them do all the farming work in less time, more efficiently, and for reduced costs. From robotics and drones to computer vision software, these are just a few examples of modern agriculture technologies that help automate the crop or livestock production cycle.
Over the past decade, the Greenhouse industry has experienced a major growth from small scale facilities, used primarily by researchers, to large facilities meant to be an equal competitor to the land-based conventional agriculture. Today, the entire global greenhouse market generates over $350 billion in vegetables only every year.
As expected, today’s modern greenhouses are becoming increasingly tech-heavy using technologies such as LED lights or automated control systems to create the perfect conditions for food production.
Now, apart from being by far more sustainable than land-based farming, greenhouses also minimize the risk of the negative impacts of weather. For example, the plants are protected from freezing or being destroyed by heavy rainfall. As the experts from Duliban Insurance Brokers explain, traditional farmers deal with the constant risk of having their crops destroyed, especially with today’s fast-changing climate conditions.
So, greenhouses are also a great solution to minimize these risks and keep food production safe.
Who would have imagined many years ago that our gardens will take the shape of a ring? Most likely no one. Well, no one except the expert Alexandru Predonu who designed an ingenious and elegant solution that can be the future for sustainable farming. The Ring Garden, that exists in Santa Monica, California, uses solar energy to power its rotations and produce clean drinking water and food crops.
The rotating garden uses 100% solar energy to desalinate seawater and to rotate to irrigate the plants. The system designed by Alexandru Predonu uses up to 98% less water than conventional farming methods do and yields up to 30% more crops without needing pesticides or fertilizers.
Although the Ring Garden is still in its conceptual stage, it is believed to be a great innovation for the future of agriculture.
Ever thought of growing your own plants at home but didn’t have the room for that? What about the rooftop of your building?
Rooftop gardens are gaining momentum these days, especially in urban areas where there is limited land that can be used for farming. Plus, rooftop gardens aren’t just a great solution for meeting the growing demand for food production. They are also a great solution for enhancing urban landscapes and reducing urban air pollution and improving air quality.
It’s official: farming has changed a lot over time. And, thanks to all these innovations in agriculture, hopefully, humanity will overcome the challenge of producing food for a growing population in less favorable climate conditions.
In good health,
Your friends at Mountain West
Source: New Agriculture Technology