World population reached its first billion in 1830. By 1930, it doubled to two billion. It reached an unexpected 3 billion just 60 years after that. And in 2002, world population more than doubled at 6.27 billion. On the same year, the United Nations Population Fund projected that global population will reach 9.2 billion by 2050. Given the rate at which population increases across the world, deforestation and scarcity of food are two risks we all face. Great minds of today propose that we take part in preventing them through hydroponics gardening and vertical farming.
The world’s continuing population increase only means one thing – there are more mouths to feed with each passing day. Because of this, the world’s demand for food increases as well. But our current food supply can’t meet this demand and agricultural lands will have to continue expanding horizontally. Horizontal expansion of agricultural lands is only one problem of the ever increasing global population. Eventually, residential, industrial, and commercial structures will have to be built as well to meet everyone’s need for homes, jobs, and commodities. Deforestation and the extinction of animals and non-agricultural plant life are terrible consequences of these, expected to take place unless we do something about them.
A common denominator across all these problems is plant life. From an agricultural perspective, plants can help sustain the world’s demand for food supply. Environmentally, they constitute of forests and contribute to the delay of global warming. With hydroponics gardening and vertical farming, underlying dilemmas can be addressed.
Hydroponics gardening is a method of planting wherein soil is no longer used. Instead of placing plants in soil for watering, they are instead placed on gravel, coconut husk, perlite, mineral wool, or any other inert substance. Minerals and nutrients are artificially introduced into water and then allowed for absorption through inert substances. It was first discovered in 18th century. Research showed that minerals and nutrients can be absorbed by plants directly from water.
Since any land-grown plant can grow with general hydroponics gardening, it is part of the plans to push through vertical farming. Vertical farming is a strategy wherein instead of expanding farms horizontally to take up more land space, farms will be built upwards in skyscrapers. As proposed, vertical farming could help increase land availability for the world’s growing population. Moreover, it could help stop deforestation since the need for horizontal land expansion will be decreased significantly.