Could soilless agriculture help solve our food crisis?
The world is in the grip of a food crisis. In many parts of the world, agricultural land is no longer cultivable due to excessive use of pesticides, droughts and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Good quality soils to grow crops to feed the world’s growing population are becoming increasingly scarce.
So, is there a way to produce food without needing to use land? Several companies are doing just that, using a variety of methods such as growing underwater, using nutrient-rich moisture, or reusing coffee grounds as fertilizer.
There are a few well-established methods, such as aeroponics, where plant roots are suspended and sprayed with a nutrient-rich mist. Another is aquaponics, where fish are raised alongside plants, and their waste is used to feed the plants.
Not only does being able to grow food without the need for soil have implications for growing crops on Earth, it could also be essential to sustaining our stay on the Moon or Mars. Being able to grow plants without soil will be key to having a reliable food source and helping us maintain a presence on other planets.
In this gallery, we show you some of the projects that show that it is possible to grow food in a sustainable and more environmentally friendly way.
Edo Radici Felici, Italy
Hydroponic Village, Indonesia
Zero Farms, Italy
National Agricultural Demonstration Zone, China
Nemo’s Garden, Italy
Upward Farms, United States
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