Food insecurity is on the rise as the world becomes increasingly populated. The trend of increasing urbanization has led to food insecurity in densely populated areas. As threats such as global warming and accessibility issues rise, more people are paying attention to sustainability practices. Lead scientists have developed many solutions, such as vertical farming and soilless food production, that are beginning to take root and spread across the globe.
What is Vertical Farming?
Vertical farming is an umbrella term that encapsulates any production of food by structures that take up both horizontal and vertical space. This three-dimensional advancement is plausible by the selective use, flow, and control of water and nutrients required by the plants. The following systems are the current leaders in the world of vertical and urban farming.
Vertical farming is a type of indoor farming where crops are grown in stacked layers, rather than spread out across large plots of land. These farms offer many benefits over traditional ones, including the prospect of better access to healthy foods in underserved communities.
Vertical Farming reduces the consumption of resources such as freshwater, minerals, and energy. The system can also be specifically developed and controlled based on the produce grown to reduce those requirements even further. Additionally, the organic waste produced by the city can be put to use by the vertical farms nearby. Many even expect a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution due to the increased greenery.
Food insecurity and malnutrition
Urban agriculture is seen as a practical way to address food insecurity in cities. It increases accessibility in both a physical and financial manner by bringing the farm to the city and depending less on distant food sources. With the technological advancements that come with vertical farming, cities might also be able to see seasonal food year-round or even see new access to foods that require extreme climate conditions. With the ability to control the conditions of the farms, vertical farmers have the control to provide more than what is available via the traditional method.
Land and space consumption
Urban agriculture requires less horizontal space by building up instead of across. By use of stacks, towers, and shelving, vertical farming combats the large land requirement and allows farms to be found in warehouses or even on the rooftops of grocery stores where they will be sold once harvested.
Although the crises that threaten the well-being of the planet and its habitants are still a very concerning priority, vertical farming does seem to have promising advantages. The methods described above aren’t perfected and require more work, but the field is expanding and more companies are expecting to utilize the new vertical farming systems to make food a little more accessible. You can find vertical gardening in East Quad and Bursley Dining Hall on campus. There is also a freight farm located in Ann Arbor at the campus farm. These not only respond to the urban food insecurity crisis, but also to the increasingly problematic environmental and global climate crises.