As time goes by, populations grow and technologies develop. These two realities of modern life are as correlated as they come. As is becoming more than clear, our Earth’s population is nearing its carrying capacity – the maximum amount of people for which it can sustain a comfortable life. With this, it’s important that we establish an approach to prioritize the availability of freshwater and food, as well as to maximize the efficiency of the systems that yield these fundamental necessities.
Some of the most basic rudimentary information about us as humans includes an outline of how we survive, grow, and reproduce. Anyone can tell you that in order to survive, we require only very two very basic things: food and water. Keeping this in mind, it’s hard to believe that humanity can progress much further until we can restore the manners by which we obtain and store these necessities with such a numerous and growing population. Without a doubt, the plan of action to address these changing circumstance has to expand the efficiency and productivity of the systems by which we grow our food, purify our water, and store both of these essential elements of life.
Based out of Irvington, NY, BrightFarms Inc. is a company which was founded in 2010, and who’s mission is to grow leafy green salads locally in greenhouses, package them, and have them sitting in local grocery stores, ready to eat within hours of their harvest. They separate themselves from the generic agricultural industry with their principled philosophy which stresses the importance of growing food pesticide-free while also slashing environmentally harmful outputs. They’ve also adopted a new style of cultivation – one without soil. Generic techniques involving a soil medium result in excessively unnecessary water runoff and nutrient loss, diminishing growth potential, let alone needlessly sacrificing financial assets.
The specific farming method used by BrightFarms is known as hydroponic agriculture – produced in a solely aqua-based growing medium. In fact, this process requires significantly less water, land, and shipping fuels than conventional farming. This innovative industrial adaptation combined with the facilitation of local greenhouse cultivation gives the company a competitive niche within the vast agricultural industry.
Aside from farming techniques, new systems of data collection are also being developed in order to optimize management strategies and to accurately predict the amount of resources needed. An Israeli startup company, CropX, is revolutionizing the fundamental operation system of traditional farms. They’ve devised a unique soil sensor which measures moisture, temperature, and soil salinity. These data points allow the farmer or manager to swiftly be informed of the needs of their crops as well as how and to what extend to treat them with irrigation, temperature regulation, or other variable adjustment.
The last part of any business initiative is getting the product or service to market at a competitive price and marketing it to interested buyers. Farmers Business Network is a relatively new company founded in California in 2014, which is expanding the economic market potential of the agricultural industry. FBN allows its farmers to access extensive agronomic data spanning Canadian and American industries – providing farmers with the opportunities to find the best seeds, identify the ideal farm placement with regards to nearby populations, and to calculate optimum crop yields when considering environmental and qualitative inputs.
Additionally, Farmers Business Network essentially puts together an agricultural trade market which includes built-in price and qualitative transparency. These enhanced marketing features really pull the outdated traditional industry into the modern age – and just at the perfect time, considering the massive population influx and corresponding need to accommodate its needs. In essence, FBN allows farmers without much economic expertise to easily understand the market conditions for their goods and make meticulous decisions based on that knowledge without the hassle of uncertainty with regards to conventional negotiation.
The techniques introduced and implemented by companies and initiatives like these are trailblazing the global wave of the modernization of less developed industries. With the demands of humanity skyrocketing now more than ever before, the time is now to put together our resources and creativity to harness our potential to really take control of our circumstances. Considering the population boom that we are experiencing now, well into the 21st century, it’s important that we take collective steps to ensure the comfortable lifestyle we enjoy today for the generations yet to come.