THE MOVEMENT

“What’s for dinner?” I am sure everyone has asked this same question while desperately rummaging through their fridge. The question we should all be asking however is, “What is there to eat?”. These exact words could be a result of mankind’s erratic impact on the environment, which may see the agriculture sector going down a catastrophic route. Several months ago, I was like many of you reading this right now. I loved the idea of food, spent most of my money buying food and was constantly eating food, but I never exactly knew where my food came from. Of course, you may buy your food from your local supermarket or the takeaway down the road, but where does your food really come from. Your vegetables, your fruits, your herbs and spices – these food necessities you need daily.

For many farmers, they base their whole income on their crops, and as civilians we all need these crops to eat. However, how will this be possible when certain parts of the world are experiencing increasingly horrificnumbers of droughts and natural disasters. Just last week, Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey and it doesn’t stop there. An unwelcoming drought has also taken place in Castile and Leon, Spain’s fastest growing cereal region – and it is expected that farmers will lose an estimate of 60 – 70% of their crops. So, what does this now mean for the thousands of people and their families affected by something so devastating?As a nation, we will only see how much these natural disasters will affect us when they arise in a part of the world where we live. With urban farming, no matter what the weather conditions may be, crops will continue to grow and flourish. Urban agriculture has proved to be the solution to a system that faces many gloomy issues. This movement is a remarkable way for us all to grow fresh, grow local and to limit the many negative factors that come with traditional farming.

The number of farmers we need continues to decline and we are not making more. In the UK alone, only 1.5% of the population are involved in agriculture, which is a 32% decline since 1996. I know right – I suppose the question to ask is why?As the technological revolution keeps growing, we are faced with the problem of fewer people wanting to become farmers. More people want modern jobs and most of these jobs are in the city. The UN estimates that by 2050, 6.5 billion people will be living in cities, which becomes an immense problem for us all if we remain reliant on importation. It is fair to say that Britain and many other countries are heavily reliant on migrant workers.However, we need something in place that will have a huge impact on our economy for the long term. As our cities get bigger, so will our food consumption. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a part of the urban agricultural movement – inevitably bringing city-goers together as they cangrow and eat from fresh, local sources. We must tack into some sort of agricultural innovation – one which can add positive effects to us all, whilst also creating more of a sustainable solution to our economy.

Most urban cities are experiencing a re-birth when it comes to staying in tune with agriculture. There is a budding trend towards the urban farming industry which has now created a surge of new start-ups that are converting empty warehouses, office buildings and factories into urban farms. For some, unused space has now transformed into a hub for growing vegetables, herbs and other succulent plants. I know what you may be thinking…how amazing right? This exciting movement is something that can feed the world in the 21st century.Although, urban farms are not exactly new, with the introduction of victory gardens during WW2 – this will further encouragethis growing trend to thrive. It is everything that screams excitement, eagerness and a genuine need for the global agricultural world. The number of people living in cities have drastically risen and will increase even more. However, the urban farming movement will be a way for us as a nation to overcome the many impulsive actions of humanity, that greatly affect farms, which in turn will affect many parts of the world. The benefits associated around the urban farming industry is huge.It is a system where we can create food security, no matter what the weather conditions may be. Farmers will greatly benefit from the economic growth that urban farming will create, as they can adapt quickly to the demands and maximise profits. It will be a way to reduce our carbon footprint by limiting importation and creating job opportunities in the larger cities – where poverty can be a persistent issue.

The Innovation Agritech Group (IAG) is introducing a product that will help play a massive part in this agricultural revolution. The FarmBox – an aeroponic growing system that will revolutionise the way we source our food. Ground-breaking technology gives plant roots extra oxygen without the need for soil, as well as constantly recycling its water usage saving 95% water than traditional methods of farming. Wait there’s more! As it uses vertical systems to make the system space efficient, easy to light, plant and harvest -what more can you ask for? Urban farming is the solution that will help many of us that our losing sleep overthinking about the heightened worry over our food supplies.

With urban farming being a movement that is running past traditional agriculture – the fear of urban cities losing touch with the food we eat will become a thing of the past. A system were agricultural products are not only local, but from fresh, healthy and high quality sources. This will be a solution to the indefinite future we face when it comes to food produce. Now let us all encourage urban farming with open arms – after all this is the future of farming.