In the last three decades, Earth has sustained severe damages due to deforestations by incineration in various countries, huge amount of synthetic fertilizer and chemical pesticide being utilized, contaminating rivers and groundwater, the release of carbon into the air resulting in greenhouse effect which in the end causing climate change all over the globe. Most of Earth’s damages are caused by unsustainable and irresponsible agriculture practice.
Therefore, research efforts are being conducted around the world to mitigate the damages while making some improvements and discovering more sustainable ways of farming. Some methods are claimed to be able to replace these thousand years old farming practices damaging to the Earth.
The challenge modern farmers face is how to produce plentiful nutritious food commodities in limited fields while avoiding forest clearings that would damage the Earth even more. Moreover, to decrease excessive carbon emissions caused by long distance travels, the production of food commodity must be closer to the destination market. It is unnecessary for organic vegetables produced in California (US) to be marketed thousands of kilometers in Jakarta (ID), even though they send them by plane to guarantee quality.
Below are some appropriate methods of modern and sustainable farming that can be applied properly in some conditions:
Hydroponic and Aquaponic for Farming in Big Cities
These two farming methods include farming without soil since they only use water and nutritional solutions to grow worth selling crops. Hydroponic has various planting methods where they are only using chemical fertilizer with a proper formula adjusted to the types of plant to be produced. Meanwhile, aquaponic is a method of planting vegetables using nutritions from fish feces processed by specific bacteria.
Both of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, however they are expected to be the future of city farming. They do not need a wide field, can be done using automatic technology, faster to harvest thanks to measurable nutritions, and with better quality than conventional organic farming
In the past two decades, urban farming has started to grow in popularity all across the world. Many startups are established to solve the problem of how perishable produce supplies can be produced in cities. Points that have to be considered:
- Only suitable for production of produce that are quickly harvested, such as green vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, mushrooms, soft fruits, gouramies, carps etc.
- Massive initial funding is required to prepare indoor farms.
- We have to pay attention to public spatial design and additional facilities such as sanitation, sewage treatment, and water supply.
- A lot of permits have to be taken care of to be able to conduct operation.
- Commodities have to be carefully selected, preferably those with high economic value.
- Distribution/marketing have to be well thought of and prepared before the infrastructure is built, because with large capitals and complicated operations, the demand to sell the crops will be greater.