Food prices have been rising exponentially in today’s time. As inflation is going around, food prices have been increasing by 2.6% every year for the past two decades. Many experts have raised their concern over this matter. If this trend continues, it will act as a threat to life and overall food security. In a country like India, there is a huge economical imbalance. While some are wealthy enough to afford expensive cars, others find it difficult to arrange food even for one time. However, there is also a climatic disruption which shows its effect on agricultural production each year. All these factors result in hunger and malnutrition in developing countries.

In addition to these factors, violence and political unrest leads to a contraction in the food supply. The gradual increase in food prices with other factors have contributed to several missteps in agriculture productions. For combating this disquieting situation, vertical farming is the new technology-driven solution. It may not show its effects on the food prices in the near term, but definitely offer several environmental benefits! 

Why is conventional farming slowly fading away from its charm?

Conventional farming practices are still persistent in developing countries and a favourite for the majority of farmers. But it requires a lot of factors for producing successful yields. Favourable weather conditions, labour, adequate sunshine, pesticides, irrigation, etc., are the factors constantly needed for the crops to flourish. There are several unforeseeable events like the COVID-19 pandemic that affected several sectors, including agriculture. 

The DRIVE framework assesses these unfavourable factors are used. These are demographic and social changes, resource scarcity, inequality, and volatility. Chain inefficiency includes a deficit effect. Crops are flawless and plunder during harvesting, packing, processing and distribution. As global food demand and agricultural costs continue to rise, prospects for improving health and nutritional status are slim for low-income families in developed and developing countries alike.

SOURCE: Financial Times

Vertical farming: the new era farming

From high-structure farms to our dining table, vertical farming has enabled technology in the agriculture sector. Dickson Despommier coined the term vertical farming, which means producing crops on vertically stacked compartments. These are usually small farms and are enclosed in controlled environments. The crops are grown in hydroponic or aeroponic systems. Several sensors are present for ensuring that the crop is receiving adequate light, water, and food. Since the factors are readily available in vertical farms, they are independent of the climatic conditions and various factors available throughout the year. 

SOURCE: Krishi Outlook

Vertical farms can help meet the needs of our growing population by providing an alternative way of producing food that is consistent with diversity and risks similar to conventional farming. While vertical farms require less water and arable land than conventional farms, they are neutral in carbon. Their climate depends largely on the source from which they draw their electricity from lighting and controlling the indoor environment. As renewable energy sources are widely accepted, the cost of vertical carbon farming will continue to decline.

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