Before any of us ever knew about COVID-19, we knew the world was facing a food crisis. The United Nations says a growing population means food production must increase by 60% by 2050. Meanwhile, increased urbanization and conventional agricultural practices have usable land and water depleting rapidly. The global pandemic has only compounded the issue of hunger, increasing poverty and inequalities around the world.
Enter Hydroponics, Aquaponics, and Vertical Farms
Alternative farming techniques will be coming to our rescue. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) points to hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical farming as valid solutions to ending world hunger.
The beauty of these systems? You don’t need a lot of space to produce a massive amount of food! They can be used on commercial and residential levels, taking up only a tiny area of living space.
Local Food Essential
COVID-19 and the resulting disruptions in supply chains have made it clear that local food production is essential moving forward, and we cannot go back to the way things were before lockdown. Again, these alternative farming techniques are perfect for those living in urban areas and third world countries.
A Non-Profit Steps Up
Agrotonomy Tower Farms is one of many alternative growing companies that has stepped up during the global pandemic.
During the first wave of quarantines, the vertical farming initiative donated 95% of its fruit and veggie production to low-income families. This year, it will be donating 75% of what it grows.
The non-profit organization has set up the first aeroponic vertical farms in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Partnering with Tower Farms, food donation programs are currently underway in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Changing The “Food Bank” Model
Agrotonomy Tower Farms wants to move away from the canned and processed foods typically distributed by food banks. It’s vertical tower farms make it possible to donate pesticide-free, nutritious, fresh food to people who need it most.
The Next Generation
It is also teaming up with Towers Without Borders to set up aeroponic vertical farms in orphanages worldwide. The initiative not only offers children in need top-quality food, but it also helps teach the next generation the value of food security.
Hydroponics, aquaponics, and vertical farming are not only for commercial operations. There’s a learning curve, but these systems can be implemented anywhere, including a small corner of your home!