- With increasing urbanization, this will place pressures on the food supply and network. To support a more sustainable urban food supply, new technologies and processes should be explored to increase an urban and sustainable food supply.
- Hi-tech farming: growing plants in urban warehouses – The Guardian (April 3, 2013)
AeroFarms, a farm start-up, has developed technology to support harvesting food in an urban environment, growing food in urban warehouses, using a technology called aeroponics, which is sprays nutrients to support the harvesting (the system is free of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides) and LED lighting.
The key elements of this technology would help address the problem by:
- Using local warehouses to harvest the food in a more local facility, reducing the logistical challenges in transporting the food, providing a local source of food
- Ensures food security – the harvest is protected against any sudden heat waves or frosts while grown indoors
- Using less water to harvest the food – while agriculture is so water intensive, aeroponics uses 90% less water than conventional agriculture and about 50% less water than some hydroponics systems – a similar non-soil approach to farming in which the plant’s roots rest in a nutrient-rich water solution
- The stakeholders who could use this technology may include local farmers, restaurants, supermarkets, local government, and residents.
- To deploy this technology, this should include the following initial steps:
Step 1: Develop a proposal and strategy to present to potential investors, supporters and local government
Step 2: Engage with other investors to help finance and support the delivery of this technology, while developing partnerships with local stakeholders (such as supermarkets)
Step 3: Expand and staff up the team to help implement and operationalize the technology and process