Some of the biggest problems of the 21st century will be closely related to resources, who owns them, and who gets to utilize them. This is already causing problems on a bureaucratic level, as governments worldwide discuss and try to find a solution for issues such as food scarcity and the cost effectiveness of the current food production system. Additionally, the issue of climate change and global warning is becoming a more pressing issue as the climate effects of factory farming are discussed.
Admits all the discussions involving food security, scarcity, and sustainability; one common topic which comes up often is the process of hydroponic growing. While this new technology is still making itself known, it could end up being our secret weapon in the battle against food scarcity, inequality, and shortages.
What is Hydroponic Growing?
Hydroponic growing, or hydroponic farming, is the process by which plants are grown in water as oppose to soil. The water of these plants are filled with nutrients in order to strengthen the plant life and support their overall growth without the use of soil. For these greenhouses, farmers will utilize trays and towers as well as grow lights as the single source of light. All of this is done to save space for the hydroponic greenhouses to grow a larger yield. So what are some other ways hydroponic growing can be used, and just how is it better than our preexisting food system?
Hydroponic Farming is More Sustainable
Compared to the traditional methods of farming and growth, hydroponic grow systems save on water, space, energy, and time. Not only is it better for the environment and helps to combat climate change, but hydroponic farming helps you to save on a variety of resources often needed for other, traditional means. For one, hydroponics helps save water. Hydroponic adoption can decrease a growers water consumption by upwards of 98%. It saves land as well, as hydroponic growing doesn’t require the use of soil. This means by extension that hydroponic systems can be used in areas with infertile soil or difficult areas for farming. Additionally, hydroponics help save on energy during food production. Hydroponics are inherently ‘wireless’ methods of farming, and helps the environment as these systems do not contribute to the 13% of all nationwide energy used for farming.
Hydroponic Farming Can help With Food Waste and Shortages
In countries with much drier climates, farming simply isn’t possible. Africa in particular has long suffered droughts, starvation, and a variety of other problems due to their non-arable land and overall low crop yields. As we know from the previous point, hydroponic farming is ideal for locations with infertile soil. Hydroponic farming also produces crop yields at a much faster rate as the growth system doesn’t need to rely on the weather in order to produce their crops. Because hydroponics use a controlled environment, it allows you to grow each plant to its full yield; meaning you won’t be wasting any of your crop at the time of harvest.
Hydroponics are More Cost Effective
Using a pricing structure and the right business model, hydroponics are also a great investment for a business looking to improve its food production and quotas. Not only can these systems be used to harvest year round, but they are able to produce your produce and vegetation more quickly. This means you have more surplus product to sell for additional revenue. Moreover, hydroponic systems require less labour and maintenance than traditional farming systems. Hydroponic set ups can also be scaled depending on the size and scope of your business.
Hydroponic Produce is Healthier, Safer for Consumers
If you’re looking for a greener, healthier produce; then hydroponic growing is for you. Not only are hydroponic vegetables grown free of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals, but they also grow in controlled conditions which protect them from a number of outsider risks such as pests, insects, and pathogens like E. Coli, cyclspora, and salmonella. These bacteria’s and pathogens are less likely to thrive in controlled environments, where things such as moisture and heat are more closely regulated. Not only are hydroponic vegetables better tasting, they are just as nutritious as your regularly grown produce.